Wales Women 0 – 3 England Women: Phil Neville’s side book place in World Cup with commanding win

31 Aug

England booked their place at the 2019 World Cup finals in France with a brilliant 3-0 victory over Wales.

Goals from Toni Duggan, Jill Scott and Nikita Parris in a stunning second-half display also dealt a huge blow for Wales’ ambitions of reaching the tournament.

Phil Neville celebrates with Toni Duggan, who scored the opening goal

This is the first time Wales, who went an incredible 687 minutes without conceding in Group 1, have lost in the campaign.

However, Phil Neville’s side did the business tonight in a game where they initially struggled to find a clinical edge.

The win means the Lionesses are guaranteed to finish top of their group before their final qualifier in Kazakhstan, while Wales need to rely on other results going their way to get a second chance via the play-offs.

Dideriksen: I’m not used to winning so much

31 Aug

Amalie Dideriksen (Boels Dolmans) was again the first rider across the line in Friday's stage of the Boels Ladies Tour, raising her arms in celebration for the second day in a row. After her win, the Danish champion said that she moved into the sprinter's role only in the final of the stage as the team originally wanted to give Amy Pieters an opportunity to win.

"We had agreed to sprint for Amy today since I had the chance yesterday. But then she was in the breakaway twice on the final laps. When Amy was brought back with one lap to go, Danny [Stam, DS] said in the radio, 'Amalie, we do the sprint for you'. Amy had used a lot of energy with the attacks, so she did not have the final kick for the sprint any more, and I was next in line. So I had to switch my mind, and it was a really long sprint, really hard."

The run-in to the finish was hectic with three 90-degree turns and some typical Dutch road furniture. On the finishing straight, Dideriksen ended up getting a lead-out from competitor Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg).

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"I was on my own a bit on the final kilometre. Then I got the wheel of Lorena Wiebes, that was very good for me. She started her sprint very early, I could wait in her wheel a bit. But I saw people coming from behind, so I had to open earlier than I had planned. If people come from the back and box you in, you are stuck and cannot sprint like you want. In the end Lucinda Brand was really close, but I was able to hold her off."

Cyclists are a superstitious lot, and Dideriksen is seemingly no exception. Handed the start number 13 for the race, she turned the numbers upside-down on her race kit. But the number, and the race, appear to bring her good luck: The win in Weert brings Dideriksen's total of Boels Ladies Tour stage victories to three, meaning that every third of her nine road race wins since her first senior year in 2015 came in the Dutch race. "I had quite a lot of people telling me that it was their lucky number, so maybe it's a good number for me too. I am really happy. I am not used to winning much, so it is really nice to take another stage."

Before the sprinters came to the fore in Weert, the stage was characterised by a long solo breakaway. Israeli champion Omer Shapira (Cylance) attacked just a few kilometres into the race – and ended up riding more than 100 kilometres on her own before being caught with 8km to go and eventually finishing in 81st place, 2:12 minutes behind the peloton.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Leicester City news: Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel commits his future to the club by signing new deal

31 Aug

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has handed the club a huge boost by signing a new deal.

The Dane – one of the stars of the World Cup and a Premier League title winner with the Foxes in 2016 – will now remain with the club until 2023.

He told the club’s official website: “I’m very happy to be here for many more years. I’ve spent the majority of my career at Leicester now and had some amazing times here, so hopefully we’ll have some more.

“I’ve felt at home at this club from day one, so I’d like to thank the fans for the support they’ve given me and also the owners who’ve played a huge part in my career.

“I want to bring more success to this club as I’ve loved every minute and hopefully we can keep going in the right direction.”

The 31-year-old has made 298 appearances for Leicester since signing from Leeds in 2011.

 

 

Celtic FC transfer news: Moussa Dembele will join Lyon before deadline, club confirms

31 Aug

Celtic have confirmed they have agreed a deal to sell Moussa Dembele to Lyon before the close of the European transfer window tonight.

It seemed the Hoops had held off interest from the Ligue 1 side but the Scottish champions finally backed down and are letting their star striker go for a fee believed to be in the region of £18million.

Dembele was not in action for Celtic’s Europa League play-off on Thursday night

Bhoys boss Brendan Rodgers said: “Every decision we make at Celtic will always be in the best interests of the club and our supporters.

“It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the club at a particular time. It has never happened. In fact, we have said all along that we did not wish to sell Moussa, given the circumstances within the transfer window and that is why we rejected a significant offer yesterday.

“However, this particular decision to accept this offer has been taken in order to serve the best interests of the first-team squad, my coaching team and the culture and environment we have created in these last two seasons.

“The board and myself are united and they have been very supportive to me on this issue.

“Our real focus now turns to Sunday’s match [against Rangers] and beyond, working with our players here who are committed to doing all they can to ensure another successful season for the club.

“Finally, I would like to thank Moussa for his contribution in our last two seasons and want to wish him well in his new adventure at Lyon.”

The news comes after Dembele’s Twitter outburst after Celtic’s Europa League play-off win over Suduva last night.

Dembele tweeted: “A man without his word is nothing. A real man keeps his word.”

He then took aim at Rodgers and the club’s hierarchy: “Don’t get it wrong Bhoys and Ghirls nothing to do with people who really care about the club.

“Too much love and respect for you and the crest #CarefulWhoYouCallTheLeaderOfYours.”

 

Woods battles for stage win in breakaway at Vuelta a Espana despite early crash

31 Aug

Despite an early crash, despite his injuries, and despite being defeated in his breakaway plans, Michael Woods (EF-Education First=Drapac) nonetheless cut a defiant figure at the finish of stage 7 of the Vuelta a España.

Despite falling hard early on and suffering cuts and bruises down his right side, with his race clothing ripped to shreds at the shoulder, Woods was the last of an early breakaway move of seven - which had hung in there despite being pegged back to a two or three minute lead for most of the stage - to be reeled in by the combined forces of Movistar and Bora-Hansgrohe.

Speaking at the finish the Canadian told Cyclingnews that he would have felt more satisfied if had he taken the win and not crashed. But he was proud, too, of how Team EF-Education First were performing in this year's Vuelta a España.

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"I crashed early on and on the same leg that I ripped up in a crash in Utah so I'm pretty disappointed about that, I lost a bit of skin there," Woods told Cyclingnews. "It's bleeding quite a bit, but no impact damage, just some road rash."

Woods said he remained determined on the stage, despite the surface wounds, to try to go the distance with the break.

"I knew if I had two minutes at the base of the [final third category] climb I'd have a shot, but then when I heard it was 20 seconds, I really didn't think I'd have a chance.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Leeds United 0-0 Middlesbrough: Marcelo Bielsa’s men fail to extend lead at top of Championship with dull draw against Boro

31 Aug

Leeds will remain top of the Championship at the end of the weekend, however, it will only be on goal difference after they played out a tense goalless draw at home to second-placed Middlesbrough.

Both teams went into the game having not tasted defeat and while Marcelo Bielsa and Tony Pulis’ men showed plenty of desire, the game lacked real attacking quality as the players cancelled each other out for large periods.

It was a game where the defences shone and the likes of Samuel Saiz found little joy

The game made a frenetic start but neither side could carve out many serious opportunities in the first-half.

Jonny Howson’s purposeful run and shot forced a decent stop from Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

However, the young goalkeeper was forced into making a brilliant save to prevent Luke Ayling from scoring an own goal moments later.

Ayling then nearly scored at the right end on 31 minutes but his towering header from a corner was cleared off the line by Adam Clayton.

The game was a largely scrappy affair

After the break, Barry Douglas was perhaps fortunate to escape a sending off with a nasty tackle on Clayton.

Meanwhile, Jack Harrison’s curling effort dropped just wide of the goal although Boro keeper Darren Randolph appeared to have the shot covered.

Daniel Ayala, Boro’s hero from last week’s victory over West Brom had a chance late on but Peacock-Farrell was equal to his back post header as the game drifted to a draw.

LINE-UPS

Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper, Berardi (Jansson 87), Phillips, Klich, Alioski, Harrison (Dallas 90+2), Saiz, Roofe (Bamford 90)

Subs not used: Blackman, Pearce, Baker, Roberts

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Flint, Fry, Ayala, Friend, Clayton, Howson, Besic, Downing, Assombalonga

Subs not used: Dimi, McQueen, McNair, Leadbitter, Wing, Braithwaite, Hugill

Records tumble as USA Cycling find success in Pan American Championships

31 Aug

USA Cycling has long counted on its women's endurance track squad to keep its medal hauls coming at the world championships and Olympic Games, but if an off-year Continental Championship is any indication, the newly revived men's endurance programme could equal the women if it continues on its upward trajectory.

At the Pan American Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the men's team pursuit squad clocked a 3:53.86 en route to gold - the first time in history the country has managed to break four minutes.

Eric Young, Ashton Lambie, Gavin Hoover and Colby Lange shattered the country's previous record, which stood at 4:02.798. Their final mark was also an unofficial Pan American Championships record, but still four seconds shy of Australia's world team pursuit mark of 3:49.804, which was set at the Commonwealth Games.

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"This is a huge result of our team, as well as me personally," said Lambie. "Pan-Am's last year was when I got my first Team USA jersey and it's been great to work with such a supportive program and team towards our goals. The result is just our first step towards bigger goals."

The results came pouring in one year after USA Cycling restructured its entire elite athletics programme, with Jim Miller leaving and Gary Sutton coming in as head coach. Jeff Pierce, the Director of Elite Athletics on the road and track said he felt something special was going to happen the morning of the qualifying heats.

"We witnessed some history with the men's Team Pursuit squad going under four minutes for the first time ever and smashing their own national record in the process. It was a beautiful ride and there's much more to come."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

England roar back in fourth Test against India thanks to Moeen Ali’s five-wicket haul

31 Aug

A brilliant bowling display by Moeen Ali breathed new life into England’s fourth Test against India in Southampton.

The off-spinner tore through the tourists’ lower order (5-63) as they lost six wickets for 53 runs – slipping from 142-2 to 195-8.

England had a very productive second day

However, India had a late rally towards the end and were bowled out for 273 including an unbeaten 132 from Cheteshwar Pujara.

Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings got through a nervy four overs at the end of the day on 6-0, leaving them 21 runs behind.

The match is finely poised with England able to seal the five-Test series with a victory on the south coast as they currently hold a 2-1 lead.

To add to the intrigue, the Southampton pitch is showing signs of sharp turn, potentially aiding India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as well as England pair Moeen and Adil Rashid in the fourth innings.

Murphy, Cote join Rally Cycling

31 Aug

Rally Cycling announced on Friday that it signed sprinters John Murphy (Holowesko-Citadel) and Pier-André Coté (Silber Pro Cycling) to the 2019 team.

Murphy, 33, began his career with Jittery Joes in 2003, and moved to HealthNet and then BMC before coming back to the States, spending four seasons with UnitedHealthcare. He moved to Holowesko-Citadel in 2017, winning stages of the Tour of Utah and Colorado Classic, and continued his success this season with a stage win in the Circuit des Ardennes International. He said the extended European program was a draw with Rally.

"Rally Cycling has always run a top notch program," Murphy said. "Solid management, a really strong roster and a program that is always growing. For 2019, I'm looking forward to testing myself even more in Europe. I want to help Rally Cycling be the best team they can be at every race they go to."

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Quebec native Coté, 21, turned professional with Silber Pro Cycling in 2017. A former hockey player, he won the Canadian Criterium Championships in his first season and this year claimed two stage wins in the Tour de Beauce.

Coté also said he was also looking to get more experience in Europe with Rally. "I was looking for a smooth transition to Europe while still racing with a well established North American team with a focus on performance. I come to the team open minded and ready to learn from some of the best cyclists in North America," he said.

"Racing in Europe is for sure one of the things I look forward to the most next year," said Cote. "I raced there only once when I was a junior and I am excited to go back being a completely different cyclist. Having a lot more confidence and experience, but still carrying that desire to learn and progress."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com