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The sports wrap 2nd July 2018

LanguedocLiving, Jul 1

Russia shock Spain as Messi and Ronaldo pack their bags.

Russia, the World Cup host with the lowest FIFA ranking of all 32 teams in the tournament, beat Spain on penalties on Sunday to go through to the quarter-finals. The shock result came as the golden boys of global football, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, packed their bags after Argentina and Portugal were beaten, leaving the stage to a new wonder kid, France’s Kylian Mbappe, a 19-year-old who scored twice and won a penalty as France beat Argentina 4-3 in a thriller. In another nail-biter, Uruguay sent Ronaldo home with a 2-1 victory. With half of the Round of 16 matches played, the World Cup continued to surprise with Croatia joining Russia, Uruguay and France in the last eight after beating Denmark on penalties. In Moscow, defence-minded Russia pulled off the biggest shock as they beat 2010 winners Spain in the first penalty shootout of the tournament and will now play Russia. After extra-time ended with the score locked at 1-1, goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was Russia's penalty hero, denying Koke and then Iago Aspas to spark scenes of delirious celebration at the Luzhniki Stadium. In Kazan, Mbappe, on loan to Paris St Germain from Monaco, announced himself on football's biggest stage with two fine goals that gave France victory over Argentina, and a quarter-final match against Uruguay. France finally dazzled and Mbappe's second-half double turned the game decisively in their favour, inflicting more pain on Argentina in what may be their final chance to win the World Cup during Messi's prime. Mbappe became the first teenager to score two in a World Cup match since a 17-year-old Pele netted twice for Brazil against Sweden in the 1958 final. England play Colombia on Tuesday for a place in the last eight.

Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix as Hamilton retires

Max Verstappen won Red Bull’s home Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday while Lewis Hamilton suffered his first race retirement since 2016 and lost the Formula One championship lead to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The victory was the 20-year-old Dutch driver’s first of the season, fourth of his career, and came in front of an army of orange-shirted fans packing the grandstands and then flooding onto the track at the finish.Kimi Raikkonen was a close second, with team mate Vettel third to claw back the overall lead by a single point from Hamilton, their Mercedes rival whose record run of 33 successive scoring finishes came to an end. Vettel, who started sixth after collecting a three place grid penalty, now has 146 points to Hamilton’s 145 after nine rounds and with the Briton’s home race at Silverstone next weekend. Hamilton had already been on the back foot before he stopped on lap 64, his car suffering lost fuel pressure while he was in fourth place, after a glaring strategy error by Mercedes had cost him the lead. On a bleak afternoon for the champions, who had not been beaten at the Red Bull Ring since Austria returned to the calendar in 2014, Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas retired with a mechanical failure. Verstappen took the lead after Mercedes kept Hamilton out during a virtual safety car period that followed Bottas’s retirement on lap 14, with all the others behind the Briton pitting for fresh tyres. Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles came on the radio as the bearer of bad news, admitting his error as Hamilton struggled to comprehend what had happened. France’s Romain Grosjean scored his first points of the season with a bang, finishing a lapped fourth for the U.S.-owned Haas team, who also had Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen taking the chequered flag in fifth.

Hampshire beat Kent to win One-Day Cup final

Hampshire posted the biggest-ever total in a final at Lord's as they beat Kent by 61 runs on Sautrday to win the One-Day Cup. It was the county's first victory at headquarters since 2012, with South African Rilee Rossouw's 125 helping them amass 330 for seven wickets. Former Kent captain Sam Northeast also made an unbeaten 75, while Joe Denly claimed 4-57 with the ball. Kent could never keep pace in reply despite 86 from Daniel Bell-Drummond and 75 from skipper Sam Billings as they were bowled out for 269. On a glorious sunny day in London, a crowd of just under 21,000 were treated to some fine individual performances as Hampshire took the first domestic honours of the season. Hampshire's record total ultimately proved more than enough to give James Vince's side victory and avenge their narrow one-run defeat by Kent in the group stages. It was also their seventh success in a one-day final at Lord's.

Catalans beat Castleford and move up to seventh

Josh Drinkwater scored a hat-trick of tries as Catalans Dragons won 44-16 to sweep aside Castleford Tigers on Saturday to go seventh in the Super League. Australian Drinkwater ran on to a smart Greg Bird offload for the first score, but James Clare went over in the corner and Jesse Sene-Lefao's solo try put Castleford 10-8 up. Bird, Drinkwater, Louis Anderson and Julian Bousquet all scored as Dragons romped to a 30-10 half-time lead in Perpignan. The teams exchanged tries after the break before Drinkwater's long-range effort and a Lewis Tierney try sealed the win. St Helens stay top of the Super League table, extending their lead to six points with a 34-30 win over Wakefield Trinity. Wigan Warriors are second.

Mischa Zverev wins first ATP Tour title at Eastbourne

Germany’s Mischa Zverev won his first ATP Tour title with a straight-set victory over Lukas Lacko at Eastbourne on Sunday Ranked 67th in the world, he beat Slovakia's Lacko 6-4 6-4 at the Nature Valley International. Zverev, 30, hit an ace on his first match point to wrap up the title in 97 minutes. His victory meant he and world No.3 Alexander are the first brothers to win a singles event in the same season since 1989. Zverev is set to face France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert when Wimbledon begins on Monday, while Lacko will play Benjamin Bonzi. In the women’s singles, world No.2 Caroline Wozniacki beat Aryna Sabalenka to claim her second Eastbourne title. The Danish top seed outlasted her Belarusian opponent, ranked 45th in the world, 7-5 7-6 (7-5) at the Nature Valley International. Sabalenka served for both sets and led 4-1 in the tie-break, but Wozniacki, 27, dominated the crucial moments. It is her second title of the year, after her Australian Open success, and comes just two days before Wimbledon. She beat 2016 Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber and Nottingham Open champion Ashleigh Barty en route to the final.

Andy Murray withdraws from Wimbledon

Two-time champion Andy Murray has withdrawn from Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament with a "heavy heart". The 31-year-old Briton said it was too soon to play five-set matches after his comeback from hip surgery. Murray returned at Queen's last month after almost a year out, losing to Australian Nick Kyrgios, then played at Eastbourne, where he was beaten by compatriot Kyle Edmund. The Scot said in a statement he was "looking forward" to the US hard-court season, which starts in August. Murray, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, had been drawn against Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round of the Championships, which starts today. This will be the first time since 2007, when he withdrew with a wrist injury, that Murray, who is now No.156, has not played at the All England Club.

Sweden’s Alex Noren wins French Open

Sweden's Alex Noren birdied two of his last three holes to win the French Open by a shot, while Scotland's Russell Knox secured his place at The Open. The Swede, 35, hit a four-under par 67 to finish on seven under overall at Le Golf National near Paris. American Julian Suri, who was tied for second place on six under, blew his chance with a double bogey on the 18th.England's Chris Wood bogeyed the 17th as his challenge faltered and he finished tied on second place with Suri and Knox. The US-based Scot carded a six-under round of 65, the joint-best of the day, to storm up the leaderboard on the final day. Along with Suri and Sweden's overnight leader Marcus Kinhult, who dropped to joint-fifth after a final-round 76, Knox secured his place at The Open, the third major of the year which starts on 19 July at Carnoustie in Scotland. Noren started the day six shots off the lead and reached the turn in 35, but he birdied the 12th, 16th and 17th to go into the clubhouse as leader and then watched his rivals' challenges falter as he won his 10th European Tour title. The win should boost the world No.16’s chance of making Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Team Sky confident Froome will compete in Tour de France

Team Sky say they are confident Chris Froome will compete in this month's Tour de France, despite reports he is being blocked by the race organisers. The Briton is under investigation by governing body the UCI after double the allowed level of legal asthma drug Salbutamol was found in his urine during his 2017 Vuelta a Espana win. Under UCI rules, the four-time Tour de France champion, 33, can continue racing, and he won May's Giro d'Italia. He expects to win the anti-doping case. UCI president David Lappartient said the UCI would explain its position during the coming week before the tour starts. French daily Le Monde reported that race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) does not want Froome to take part in the Tour while his case is pending. Team Sky have appealed to the French Olympic Committee over the ASO move to prevent him racing, and that will be heard on Tuesday, with a decision to be announced the following day. A statement from the British-based team said: "We are confident that Chris will be riding the Tour as we know he has done nothing wrong." His victory at the Giro - after earlier wins in the Vuelta and Tour - meant he became only the seventh man to win three successive Grand Tours.

Marquez wins Dutch Grand Prix to extend championship lead

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez won the Dutch MotoGP from pole position for Honda on Sunday to stretch his championship lead to 41 points. Three Spanish riders filled the podium, with Suzuki’s Alex Rins second and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales third. Marquez now has 140 points after his fourth win of the season to 99 for Yamaha’s Italian Valentino Rossi, who finished fifth, and Vinales on 93. Only 4.462 seconds separated Marquez from seventh placed finisher Jorge Lorenzo, winner of the previous two grands prix for Ducati, in a hotly-contested 26-lap race at the Assen circuit.

Toulouse talk to Man City about a partnership

Ligue 1 club Toulouse have opened negotiations about a partnership with English Premier League champions Manchester City, the Daily Mail reported. Toulouse, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, see a deal with City Football Group as beneficial for the club's progression and could see players loaned between clubs. Toulouse agreed to sell one of their best players Issa Diop to West Ham for £22million last week as they look to increase revenue into the club. 'We are working on a capital increase plan to give more resources to the club,' club president Olivier Sadran is quoted as saying. 'With an industrial partner that brings added value... through a partnership with a big European club. This partnership will allow us to have more skills, be more consistent, and be more efficient in the game.” Manchester City’s holding company City Football Group owns parts of clubs in the United States, Australia, Japan, Spain and Uruguay.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:,,,,,

Calendar Keynotes: 2 – 8 July 

Monday, 2 July

Football: World Cup Round of 16 – Brazil v Mexico, Belgium v Japan

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Cricket: Twenty20 international, Pakistan v Australia, Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Tuesday, 3 July

Football: World Cup Round of 16 – Sweden v Switzerland, Colombia v England.

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Cricket: International Twenty20 matches – Zimbabwe v Australia, Harare, Zimbabwe, England v India, Old Trafford, Manchester. 

Wednesday, 4 July

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Cricket: Twenty20 international, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Thursday, 5 July

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Cricket: Twenty20 international, Australia v Pakistan, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Rugby League: Super League – Huddersfield v Hull FC

Golf: The Greenbrier Classic, The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US (till 8 July)

Athletics: IAAF Diamond League, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Friday, 6 July

Football: World Cup quarter-finals

Formula One: British Grand Prix, Silverstone (till 8July)

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Cricket: Twenty20 International, England v India, Cardiff, Zimbabwe v Australia, Harare.

Rugby League: Super League: Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves, St Helens v Widnes Vikings.

Golf: The Greenbrier Classic, The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US (till 8 July) 

Saturday, 7 July

Football: World Cup quarter-finals.

Cycling: Tour de France Stage 1 – Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile to Fontenay-le-Comte, 201km ((till 29 July)

Formula One: British Grand Prix, Silverstone (till 8July)

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Rugby League: Super League – Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons,

Golf: Golf: The Greenbrier Classic, The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US (till 8 July)

Sunday, 8 July

Cycling: Tour de France Stage 2 – Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon, 182.5km (till 29 July)

Formula One: British Grand Prix, Silverstone (race day)

Tennis: All England Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon (till 15 July)

Cricket: Twenty20 International, England v India, Bristol..

Rugby League: Super League – Hull KR v Salford Red Devils, Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos

Golf: Golf: The Greenbrier Classic, The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US (final day)





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