The Sport Matrix: Monday 30 June 2014


Sunday 29 June 2014 22:03

Huntelaar keeps Dutch World Cup dream alive

Netherlands produced an astonishing late comeback to keep their World Cup dream alive, defeating Mexico 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals. Louis van Gaal’s side overcame the suffocating heat of Fortaleza as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s penalty beat perhaps the tournament’s outstanding keeper, Guillermo Ochoa (above), to seal victory in the last minute.

Mexico had taken the lead just after half-time through Giovani Dos Santos, scoring with a stunning 25-yard effort. Wesley Sneijder’s strike levelled with just two minutes left, before Arjen Robben was fouled by Rafael Marquez, resulting in Huntelaar’s winner.

Doubts cloud Germany’s hopes

Germany face Algeria today but, despite the country’s pre-tournament hype, their manager Joachim Löw’s tactics pose questions about the side’s ability to clinch a first World Cup in 24 years. There are also suggestions that their training base is too isolated and cut off.

Deschamps: row won’t affect Nigeria

France coach Didier Deschamps believes today’s opponents Nigeria will not be affected by their recent training-ground boycott amid a row over win bonuses. “I don’t believe it will make a difference – it happened to other African teams before,” said Deschamps. “They are accustomed to it.”

Rodriguez basks in making history

James Rodriguez was delighted after scoring twice to inspire Colombia to a 2-0 win over Uruguay, saying: “We are making history.” Uruguay manager, Oscar Tabarez, even compared James to Diego Maradona. “It is a matter of great pride that someone like him has said that,” the 22-year-old said.

Hamilton gunning for British GP win

Lewis Hamilton is desperate for his first British GP win since 2008 on Sunday. “I’m definitely gunning for Silverstone,” he says, seeking to reignite his title hopes. “I’ll be doing absolutely everything to make sure we’re in front.”

Centurion Hales shines for Notts

Alex Hales shone for Nottinghamshire, hitting 183 – one short of his highest first-class score – as the team reached 397 for 7 on the opening day of their First Division match against Warwickshire.

Murray: I enjoy Wimbledon nerves

Andy Murray says he enjoys the pressure of Wimbledon now, ahead of today’s tie with Kevin Anderson. The Scot said: “I’m still feeling the pressure and the nerves, but this year they are completely different – I like having the nerves and I’m able to use them positively.”

Shocked Serena ‘sucks at doubles’

Serena and Venus Williams are due to play their second-round match against Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele tonight. But Serena, who crashed out of the singles event on Saturday, is not looking forward to it, saying: “I suck right now at doubles.”

Wawrinka faces hectic week

Stanislas Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion, will have to play five times in seven days this week if he reaches the Wimbledon final. His third-round tie with Denis Istomin did not even start on Saturday due to rain. World No 11 John Isner is in similar predicament.

Joy for Trott in British road race

The double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott won the British National Championships road race in a sprint finish in Abergavenny yesterday, then enthused: “It’s such an amazing feeling, it’s up there with winning a World Championships for me.”

Opinion: Nick Bollettieri

Today is a feast of tennis with ice-cool Novak Djokovic’s match with big Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on the menu. Tsonga must look to move him around and mix up his game – he has to surprise Djokovic.

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