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The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 12 June 2013

Pearce blames his players as England limp out with loss

England’s under-21 side bowed out of the European Championship last night, completing a clean sweep of group stage defeats with a 1-0 loss to hosts Israel. Thomas Ince and Wilfried Zaha, pictured, missed chances in Jerusalem as Ofir Krieff hit the only goal of the game with 10 minutes remaining.

“I’m not coming out and defending anyone,” manager Stuart Pearce said after England finished bottom of their group, scoring just one goal in the tournament. “I’m sick to the back teeth of doing that in this tournament. If you don’t turn up and work hard enough, you won’t get success and that was typical today and the two games prior to it. They should be here answering questions on why their performances were so poor.” MORE

Mega-rich Monaco after £85m Ronaldo

Monaco are set to make an £85m move for Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The French side, who have made a number of costly purchases this summer, hope to capitalise on the uncertainty surrounding Real and Ronaldo’s disillusionment with life at the Bernabéu. MORE

India ease into Trophy semi-finals

Shikhar Dhawan hit another century as India became the first side to reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals, with an eight-wicket win over West Indies. Ravindra Jadeja’s five wickets restricted the Windies to 233 for 9, a total India passed with ease. MORE

Lions ease to 10-try romp in Newcastle

George North went over twice as the British and Irish Lions won their latest tour match 64-0 against a disappointing Combined Country XV. The tourists scored 10 tries in all ahead of next week’s first Test. MORE

Garcia left to say sorry with scribble

Sergio Garcia has left Tiger Woods a handwritten note of apology for his “fried chicken” remark after being unable to say sorry in person. “Hopefully, he can take a look,” the Spaniard said. “It’s a big week and it’s difficult to meet up. At least he has read the note and he’s happy.” MORE

Buttler ready to hit Malinga with scoop

Jos Buttler insists he will not be afraid to use the scoop shot against Lasith Malinga when England face Sri Lanka tomorrow. “It’s a big part of my game,” he said. “I practise it a lot and if I feel the situation is right I won’t be afraid to play it.” MORE

Mahut hopes to beat Murray again

Nicolas Mahut hopes to repeat last year’s victory over Andy Murray with the pair due to meet in the Aegon Championships today, weather permitting. “Last year I played amazingly well and won,” the Frenchman said. “So I hope this year it’s going to be the same.” MORE

Black hopes for British successor

UK Athletics hope to appoint a home-grown successor to coach Peter Eriksson when the Swede departs at the end of the season. “I’d love it to be a British coach within the system,” performance director Neil Black said. “I’d love that to be the case.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

As stand-in captain, Brian O’Driscoll was remorseless. The Lions were 50 points clear when he pointed out ferociously that the Country XV had knocked on in the shadow of the posts. MORE

Tributes paid to  Sir Henry Cecil

Tributes from across the sport testified unanimously to the deep bonds of affection held for Sir Henry Cecil, who passed away yesterday following a long battle with cancer. The 70-year-old was champion trainer 10 times and won the Derby on four occasions. MORE

Amateurs take  the fight to Europe

A good showing at the European Championships in Belarus highlighted the upturn in British boxing. The very fabric of amateur boxing’s elite in Europe has changed for ever during the last six years because of an increase in funding. MORE

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