The Sport Matrix: Thursday 19 June 2014


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The Independent Online

Gerrard warns the young guns before key Uruguay clash

Steven Gerrard has warned England’s young players that there is “no hiding place” for a team that comes home early from the World Cup finals on the eve of the make-or-break tie with Uruguay today.

The England captain spoke to the squad on Sunday after the loss to Italy, and reminded them that while they had performed well, they could not lose to Uruguay.

Gerrard and vice-captain Frank Lampard were invited to speak by manager Roy Hodgson after the squad debriefing. Gerrard told his team-mates they did not want the experience of going home early.

Gerrard said: “Going into this game, they have to realise it could be a terribly long, frustrating summer if we don’t get it right [against Uruguay]. There is no hiding place for a player when you go out of a tournament.” MORE

Cavani: You have to fight to beat us

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani delivered a warning to England ahead of tonight’s crucial group-stage contest, in which Luis Suarez is expected to feature. Cavani said: “We are difficult to beat, we have strong character and strong personality and if you want to win against us you have to fight.”

World champions Spain crash out

Defending champions Spain crashed out of the World Cup as they lost 2-0 to Chile. Spain, who were thrashed 5-1 in their first game by the Netherlands, were beaten by first-half goals from Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz. MORE

Dutch win thriller

Netherlands earned a thrilling 3-2 win over Australia. Tim Cahill scored a superb volley and then Australia went ahead through Mile Jedinak. But Robin van Persie and Memphis Depay made sure of victory. MORE

Bell happy as he reaches 100th Test

Ian Bell starts his 100th Test tomorrow, when England face Sri Lanka at Headingley in the second Test. “The last 12 months, I feel I’m batting as well as I ever have in my career,” Bell said. The 32-year-old has scored 6,787 Test runs so far with an average of 45. MORE

Injured Wiggins’ Tour hopes fade

Doubts grew over Sir Bradley Wiggins’ participation in the Tour de France when the injuries he sustained in a crash on Tuesday forced him out of the Tour de Suisse. He had picked up a knee injury after his bike became entangled with another rider’s and he fell. MORE

Tuilagi set to play central Test role

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has dropped his Six Nations centres, Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell, for Saturday’s last Test against New Zealand. Kyle Eastmond and Manu Tuilagi have been given a chance to impress. MORE

Murray to avoid ‘Fab Four’ in SW19

Andy Murray has been named as the No 3 seed for Wimbledon. With Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer seeded Nos 1, 2 and 4, it means that Murray can’t meet any other members of the “Fab Four” before the semi-finals. MORE

McIlroy to play for Ireland at Games

Rory McIlroy will represent Ireland when golf returns to the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio. The 25-year-old put his loyalty to Irish golf above his British citizenship. His junior career was funded in part by the Golf Union of Ireland. MORE

Lloyd Webber’s Fugue prevails

The Fugue beat French filly Treve to win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Fugue, owned by Lord Lloyd-Webber, seemed more in tune with conditions than Treve, who finished third. MORE

Nick Bollettieri

The world’s most famous tennis coach, now aged 82, talks to Paul Newman about his extraordinary career and non-stop schedule - and he picks his tips for the Wimbledon titles. MORE