The Sport Matrix: Thursday 5 March 2015


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The Independent Online

Sotherton medal found in postbox

A gold medal stolen during a burglary at the home of former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton has been recovered from a postbox.

The medal, which she won at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, was put there within 24 hours of an appeal on BBC1’s Crimewatch.

Sotherton said: “Crimewatch seemed to appeal to someone’s better nature. I’m glad it was put somewhere safe and I can’t wait to get my hands on it again.”

Pearce: Kane must go to U-21 Euros

Former England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce thinks Harry Kane should go to the European Under-21 Championship this summer despite fears the striker will suffer from burn-out.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has said he will seek talks with the Football Association with regard to Kane’s participation, but Pearce said: “England have to take their best players, all of the best players.”

Scots join Wales in opposing GB team

Scotland have followed Wales in opposing a combined Great Britain side for the 2016  Rio Olympics.

On Tuesday the British Olympic Association said the English Football Association had confirmed its desire to send a team to Brazil.

But a Scottish FA spokesperson said yesterday: “We have been consistently clear in our opposition to Team GB.”

England start tournament in command

England recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over Finland in their opening match of the Cyprus Cup yesterday despite being reduced to 10 women.

Arsenal striker Lianne Sanderson headed them into the lead midway through the first half. Eniola Aluko doubled the lead on 66 minutes, prodding home Jess Clarke’s pull-back for an 18th goal in 26 internationals.

Clarke added a third on 83 minutes, smashing home a loose ball from 10 yards out.

The only downside for England was a late red card for Gemma Bonner, who was dismissed for denying Annika Kukkonen a clear goalscoring opportunity. Maija Saari converted the spot-kick.

England are in the friendly tournament for the sixth year in a row, and this season’s competition takes on added significance with the World Cup just three months away. They will face stiffer tests in Canada than Finland offered in Cyprus, but Mark Sampson’s side can be pleased with the manner of their victory. England play Australia tomorrow.

Royal St George’s  to allow women

Royal St George’s, one of three male-only clubs on the Open rota, has voted by a “decisive 90 per cent” to allow women members for the first time. Muirfield and Royal Troon still have male-only members, though Troon has announced a “comprehensive review” to consider women members.