The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 19 November 2014


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Star pair eclipsed by Guerreiro’s goal

Portugal defeated Argentina 1-0 in their friendly at Old Trafford last night. All eyes were on forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi to provide the entertainment, but they were both substituted at half-time as both sides failed to break the deadlock. Portugal’s winning goal arrived in added time, when defender Raphael Guerreiro swooped in to send a diving header past Beto.

Robshaw backs under-fire Farrell

England captain Chris Robshaw offered a passionate defence of outside-half Owen Farrell, who is retained in the squad for the game with Samoa at Twickenham despite heavy criticism. “Owen is a fantastic player. I’m a firm believer that a team with him in the line-up is much better than a team without him,” said Robshaw. “You need players like him when you find yourself in these tough environments.”

McIlroy targets victory in Dubai

The world No 1 Rory McIlroy is adamant he can turn his absence from the European Tour to his advantage with victory in the  DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. McIlroy, who missed the first two events of the Tour’s Final Series, said: “I want to play really well this week and try and win this tournament. I’m probably a little fresher than most of the guys. Hopefully, I can use that to my advantage.”

Stirring story of baseball’s fickle finger

Former Major League Baseball All-Star Jose Canseco says he will sell the finger he accidentally shot off, suggesting it “could be used as a stirring straw for drinks”.

The gregarious World Series winner and confessed steroid user took to Twitter to advertise his finger, which had been surgically reattached to his hand, apparently poorly.

He also offered to sell the offending gun – a .45 Remington adorned with an engraved scorpion on its “custom grips with crystals and gold plating”. The 50-year-old said on Monday night that both items would appear shortly on eBay.

Canseco shot the middle finger of his left hand off while cleaning his gun on 28 October, and the reattached finger fell off during a poker tournament in Las Vegas. Canseco tweeted: “I knew something crazy was going to happen with this dam [sic] finger cause it felt like it was falling off.”

He added: “My finger should have been amputated from the beginning. It was very loose with no bone to connect it. It was also smelling really bad.”

Wolff hungry for more success

Mercedes will have a world champion in Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg this weekend and have already won the constructors’ title, but the team’s executive director, Toto Wolff, is still hungry for more success. “I still feel miserable with the achievements,” he says.