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The Sport Matrix: Monday 23 June 2014


Gerrard calls on Redknapp to back up England claim

Steven Gerrard challenged Harry Redknapp to name and shame the players whom the former Spurs manager has alleged tried to pull out of England squads when he was in charge of the club.

In a response to Redknapp’s allegations that unnamed Spurs players would plead with their manager to make up excuses to get them out of England duty, Gerrard (above) said Redknapp had an obligation to name them, otherwise up to 12 England players from Redknapp’s time in charge of Spurs would be under suspicion.

The England captain even went as far as saying that he knew Jermain Defoe was not under suspicion.

Belgium leave it late to beat Russia

Belgium secured their place in the last 16 after a narrow 1-0  victory over Fabio Capello’s  Russia. In a tight contest, forward Divock Origi came off the bench to score the crucial goal with just two minutes left, converting Eden Hazard’s cross to take Marc Wilmots’ team into the knock-out phase.

Algeria hit four to see off South Korea

Algeria became the first African nation ever to score four goals in the finals when they beat South Korea 4-2 last night. Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoumene Djabou fired them into a 3-0 half-time lead before Yacine Brahimi’s goal quelled a Korean comeback.

Chile and Dutch fight for top spot

Chile and the Netherlands meet today to decide first place in Group B. There is a real incentive to win: the second-placed team will face the winner of Group A, most likely Brazil, in Belo Horizonte on Saturday afternoon. Brazil have been poor but should beat Cameroon tonight to seal top spot.

Lancaster laments back problems

England head coach Stuart Lancaster lamented defensive lapses as they lost 36-13 in the third and final Test against the All Blacks in New Zealand. “When you look at the backs, there are more decisions to be made,” he said.

Wakefield shock champions Wigan

Wakefield Wildcats knocked Super League champions Wigan Warriors from top spot in a 36-28 upset. Wakfield scored six tries with Paul Sykes kicking six goals for their first win over the Warriors since 2009.

Stubborn Sri Lanka frustrate England

England took two late wickets as Sri Lanka dominated the third day of the second Test. Sri Lanka looked in control before spinner Moeen Ali dismissed Kumar Sangakkara (55) and Lahiru Thirimanne (0) as they closed on 214 for 4 in their second innings, a lead of 106.

Rosberg wins duel with Hamilton

Nico Rosberg edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win the Austrian Grand Prix yesterday. It was Rosberg’s third triumph in the team’s sixth one-two of the year, with the 28-year-old now leading the championship by 29 points.

Murray: I’m here  to win Wimbledon 

Andy Murray had a clear message as he prepared for the defence of his Wimbledon title, which starts today against David Goffin. The Scot said: “I’m here to try and win the tournament. That’s it. My focus is solely on the first match, preparing properly for that.”

Nadal is feeling ‘mentally’ ready

Rafael Nadal feels in better shape to perform at Wimbledon, ahead of his first-round meeting with Slovakia’s Martin Klizan tomorrow. The 28-year-old said: “Mentally I’m ready to compete [at Wimbledon] better than previous years.”

Opinion: Nick Bollettieri

We should give Andy Murray’s new coach, Amélie Mauresmo, the chance to prove herself. But right now it all has to come from within the defending Wimbledon champion himself.