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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 10 July 2014

Froome crashes out of Tour

Chris Froome admitted he was “devastated” after he was forced to abandon the Tour after three crashes in two days. He endured two crashes in succession yesterday and explained in a tweet: “Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible.” MORE

Vijay hits ton but Cook impresses

India’s Murali Vijay struck a controlled 122 not out but England bowled well to limit the visitors to 259-4 on the first day of the first Test at Trent Bridge. England’s under-pressure captain Alastair Cook led the team well, being inventive on an unresponsive pitch. MORE

McIlroy recharged after trip to Ibiza

Rory McIlroy says he feels recharged for next week’s Open after enjoying a weekend in Ibiza with his friends. He said: “It was really nice just to get away from things for a while. We still did a few of the things that lads do but it was needed.” MORE

Kittel set to enjoy Champagne

After the cobbles of stage five, it is back to more sedate ground today for a flat run into the heart of Champagne country. The stage is likely to finish in a bunch sprint and so, without Mark Cavendish, the way appears clear for Marcel Kittel. MORE

Michu eyes Napoli as Juve track Evra

Swansea’s Michu is on the verge of moving to Napoli on a season-long loan deal after he failed to travel to the US for the Welsh club’s pre-season tour. Juventus, meanwhile, have enquired about the availability of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. MORE

Davies eyes repeat Birkdale win at 50

Dame Laura Davies, now 50 years old, is hoping for a repeat of her 1986 triumph at this week’s Ricoh British Women’s Open. “The enthusiasm is still there and in my mind I’m still good enough,” she said. MORE

Can Porte deliver?

Richie Porte now steps up as Team Sky’s general classification contender and raced very well yesterday. But Alasdair Fotheringham asks whether he can fill the big shoes of Chris Froome. MORE

Argentina beat Dutch on penalties to reach final

Argentina beat the Netherlands  4-2 on penalties to reach the World Cup final. Maxi Rodríguez scored decisive kick, setting his side up with a tie against Germany at the Maracanã on Sunday.

The tie went to extra-time without a meaningful chance at either end. The great attacking players – Lionel Messi, Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben – were forced to take bit parts in a match played out between two cautious defences.

Ezequiel Garay headed wide, while Messi had a free-kick saved in the first half. Robben nearly won it for the Dutch just before extra-time, but was well tackled by Javier Mascherano. MORE

Scolari on brink after shocking loss

Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to resign as Brazil coach after Saturday’s World Cup third-place play-off. A defiant Scolari insisted at the team’s training base in Teresopolis that “life goes on” yesterday, but his position is widely seen as untenable following the hosts’ 7-1 semi-final thrashing by Germany.

Alex Bellos on the hosts’ humbling

Brazil’s humiliation will not run as deep as the 1950s “Maracanazo” when their World Cup final loss was remembered as a national tragedy. Brazilians knew they were underdogs before Tuesday and, though the scoreline exceeded their worst nightmares, it was not a surprise but a death foretold. MORE

Historic win stems from U-21 triumph

Germany’s historic win was a story of the triumph of a team over a set of individuals. Several members of the current side have been together since winning the 2009 Under-21 Championship. “That was a real turning point and five or six players from that team are doing well here,” Per Mertesacker said. MORE

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