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The Sport Matrix: Friday 6 September 2013

Lampard desperate to sign off with Brazilian swansong

Frank Lampard does not want his England career to peter out this year with another ignominious failure to qualify for a major tournament, as he prepares to win his 100th cap in tomorrow’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Ukraine.

Lampard, above, will become only the eighth man in history to win 100 England caps, 14 years since debuting against Belgium.England lead Group H on goal difference from Montenegro, with Ukraine a point behind in third. Should England avoid defeat and win their final two qualifiers at home to Montenegro and Poland then top spot and automatic qualification place will be assured.

“I would love us to get [to Brazil] because it prolongs the year and it would be great – if I was selected – to go out there,” Chelsea midfielder Lampard said. “I don’t want to say I will retire [from international football] after that. But young players are coming through. At 36 not too many players play on at international level.

“I would hate [not to qualify]. England as a whole, we want to get to the World Cup. So I wouldn’t want to go out like that [not qualifying].”  MORE

Australia stroll to one-day victory

A century from captain Michael Clarke helped Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the one-day series with England as the hosts prevailed by 88 runs at Old Trafford. Chasing a huge 316, England struggled throughout and were bowled out for just 227 in reply. MORE

Ryan upbeat after Warriors fightback

Dean Ryan, the Worcester coach, was pleased with his side despite falling to a 32-15 Premiership opening day loss to Leicester at Welford Road. “At 25-3 down we could have crawled under a rock and taken a real beating,” he said. “We didn’t.” MORE

Dawn Approach set for QEII stakes

Dawn Approach is on course for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes after recovering from last month’s setback. “He’s at the top of his game at the moment,” trainer Jim Bolger said yesterday. MORE

Vettel remains on course to keep title

Defending champion Sebastian Vettel extended his lead at the top of the driver’s standings to 53 points after winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza yesterday. Fernando Alonso finished second, with Australian Mark Webber completing the podium. MORE

Broncos avoid the wooden spoon

Local boy Mason Caton-Brown was a star with a hat-trick of tries as London Broncos fought back from a 16-point deficit to beat Hull KR 34-22, which was enough to ensure they avoided the Super League wooden spoon. MORE

Djokovic prepared for Nadal finale

Novak Djokovic feels he knows how to overcome in-form Rafael Nadal in tonight’s US Open final. “The way he’s playing he’s very confident, but I know how to play him,” the Serb said. “I know what I need to do. It’s easy to sit here and say that, but I’ve got to do it on the court.” MORE

Burns future in doubt after ‘heist’

On a night of contrasts on Saturday in Glasgow, Ricky Burns left the ring with a severely broken jaw after his fight with Ray Beltran, his WBO lightweight title in his hands and the knowledge that he had just benefitted from a terrible hometown decision. MORE

Olympics Opinion: Robin Scott-Elliot

Tokyo, with $4.5bn already in the bank, had pitched its bid as the one to rely on and with concerns mounting within IOC ranks over the preparation for Rio 2016, the certainties it offered were telling.

England must tap into communities

A modern, enlightened European football nation should have its diversity reflected in its national team. It is a strength to draw upon, as Germany have shown. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Modern England has to play to its strengths. MORE

Adams plots world domination in 2014

London 2012 gold medallist Nicola Adams plans to become Commonwealth, European and world champion next year, as well as continuing work for her charity ‘Us Girls’ which helps women get involved in sport MORE

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