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Great Britain 72 Germany 77: Home side edged out despite brave comeback

Great Britain 72 Germany 77: Basketball side edged out despite brave comeback

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UPDATED:

01:13 GMT, 31 August 2012

Great Britain brought the wheelchair basketball tournament to life as they came from 18 points down to force overtime against Germany, but they could not pull off the victory they so desperately wanted to open their Paralympic campaign.

Britain trailed 34-16 midway through the second quarter, but came storming back and took the lead after half-time.

The hosts could never get much breathing space and it became a frantic contest as the clock ticked down, with Terry /08/31/article-0-14C2B662000005DC-647_634x367.jpg” width=”634″ height=”367″ alt=”So close: Great Britain celebrate but were later denied by the Germans” class=”blkBorder” />

So close: Great Britain celebrate but were later denied by the Germans

'It was a tough game, but we fought hard and we showed a big spirit,' said co-captain Abdi Jama, who had 10 points.

'It was the bulldog spirit. We drove and drove and drove. We had the last shot of the game and on another day that goes in.'

Germany dominated the early going as Britain had no response to the big three-pointers from Andre Bienek.

When Jan Haller joined the party they moved into a 17-8 lead, with needless turnovers from Britain helping Germany get away.

Another three from Haller made it 30-14 as part of a 7-0 spurt, and it was Haller again to make it 34-16.

Britain made defensive adjustments and began to claw their way back, with /08/31/article-0-14C2B476000005DC-270_634x415.jpg” width=”634″ height=”415″ alt=”Crash: Abdi Jama of Great Britain falls to the floor during the match with Germany” class=”blkBorder” />

Crash: Abdi Jama of Great Britain falls to the floor during the match with Germany

/08/31/article-0-14C246D0000005DC-690_634x466.jpg” width=”634″ height=”466″ alt=”Battle: Germany's Andre Bienek (left) tussles with Great Britain's Joni Pollock ” class=”blkBorder” />

Battle: Germany's Andre Bienek (left) tussles with Great Britain's Joni Pollock

Wolk quickly gave Germany a four-point edge and with Bienek finding his rhythm again and Britain guilty of ill-timed turnovers, they pulled away.

'We made too many errors and silly mistakes,' said Britain coach Murray Treseder. 'They had 15 offensive rebounds and we committed 13 turnovers, and that's too much possession to give away.

'Poor decisions caught up with us. But we played some pretty good basketball at times and that's a positive.'

Jama said the crowd, listed at 5,342, was the best he had ever played in as the British rally was roared on.

'The crowd were fantastic, it was an unbelievable atmosphere and to play in front of a crowd like that is an honour,' he said.

'We did a lot of good things and it could have gone either way. Credit to the Germans. We just need to put the ball in the hole. It's as simple as that.'

London 2012 Olympics: United States 126 Argentina 97

United States 126 Argentina 97: Dream Team continue gold medal charge after topping Group A

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UPDATED:

05:28 GMT, 7 August 2012

Olympics 2012

The United States wore down battling Argentina in the second half to lock up top spot in Group A with a 5-0 record.

Argentina matched the Americans blow-for-blow in a pulsating first half, trailing 60-59 at half-time.

But the Americans outscored them 42-17 in an incredible third quarter in which the red-hot Kevin Durant hit five three-pointers from increasing distance.

Unstoppable: The US team had to fight hard to overcome the Argentinians

Unstoppable: The US team had to fight hard to overcome the Argentinians

Tensions flared down the stretch with both sides collecting technical fouls, but that was simply a measure of Argentina's frustration at their inability to stop the Americans, and the Americans' eagerness to let them know it.

It had been a different story in the first half, when Argentina used some excellent shooting to keep pace, never letting the Americans pull more than four points clear.

That soon changed in the third quarter. LeBron James scored seven quick points including a huge three to power them into a 67-62 lead before Durant hit the first of five quickfire three-pointers that carried the United States out of sight.

Basket case: Andres Nocioni cuts through the American defence

Basket case: Andres Nocioni cuts through the American defence

Lift off: Luis Scola goes in for a lay-up as Tyson Chandler can only watch on

Lift off: Luis Scola goes in for a lay-up as Tyson Chandler can only watch on

A huge shot from well outside the arc made it 85-68 midway through the quarter and his fifth of the period made it 93-74 with 1:52 left in the period.

When Carmelo Anthony's three made it 102-76 to end the third, Argentina seemed to take exception and several players clashed at midcourt, leading to technical fouls against both teams.

Early in the fourth, Russell Westbrook was called for a technical, apparently for his reaction to scoring a monster dunk that had made it 107-79.

But no amount of posturing from either team was going to change the result as the United States ran out big winners.

Team spirit: The US team know they remain on course to land the gold medal

Team spirit: The US team know they remain on course to land the gold medal

Team spirit: The US team know they remain on course to land the gold medal

Durant finished with 28 points while James had 18 and Chris Paul 17. Manu Ginobili led Argentina with 16 points and Carlos Delfino had 13.

The result finalised the bracket for Wednesday's quarter-final round. The United States will play Australia, Argentina take on South American rivals Brazil, Spain meet France and Russia play Lithuania.

Down but not out: Carmelo Anthony is floored during the clash at the Basketball Arena

Down but not out: Carmelo Anthony is floored during the clash at the Basketball Arena

London 2012 Olympics: United States dream team given wake up call by Tunisia

US dream team are given wake up call by African champions Tunisia

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 1 August 2012

The United States wound up cruising to a 110-63 win over Tunisia, but not before the African champions had given them plenty to think about in a battling first half.

Although the Americans outscored them 64-30 in the second half, Tunisia surprised their opponents and the watching crowd with a start, showing no fear in the face of their more illustrious rivals.

Up for it: Tunisia's Salah Mejri, left, vies for the ball with US guard Russell Westbrook

Up for it: Tunisia's Salah Mejri, left, vies for the ball with US guard Russell Westbrook

On the ball: US guard Russell Westbrook

On the ball: US guard Russell Westbrook

Tunisia took the lead several times during the opening two quarters, and some of their determined offensive play drew approving nods from the American bench.

Makram Ben Romdhane went coast-to-coast to score a great dunk that made it 8-4, and although the Americans reeled off a quick six points, Tunisia were ahead again on Mourad El Mabrouk's three-pointer.

A great fast break gave Amine Rzig an easy basket and when Kobe Bryant fouled El Mabrouk, United States coach Mike Krzyzewski had seen enough and he hauled off his starting five.

The second unit responded to the Tunisian challenge, and reeled off 14 unanswered points highlighted by a three-pointer from Carmelo Anthony.

Impressive: Marouan Kechrid

Impressive: Marouan Kechrid

Kevin Durant, left, drives to the basket

King Kev: Durant, left, drives to the basket

But Tunisia refused to go away and two three-pointers in a row from Marouan Kechrid brought them back within six. A huge dunk from LeBron James only slowed their charge, and Kechrid hit from deep again to slice the lead to 35-30. This time the message seemed to get through, and the Americans finished the first half on a 11-3 charge.

They quickly poured in seven points at the start of the second half as it became apparent Tunisia's challenge was fading.

A long three from Anthony made it 63-36 but there was concern for the Americans moments later when Love came up hobbling from a contested lay-up, although he would later return in the fourth quarter after treatment.

Little and large: USA's Lebron James, right, and Tunisia's Marouan Kechrid

Little and large: USA's Lebron James, right, and Tunisia's Marouan Kechrid

With the result now beyond doubt, the Americans turned to their party tricks, with Andre Igoudala scoring the outstanding dunk of the night flying in from the wing, and Anthony Davis throwing down an alley-oop pass.

A three-pointer from Love moved the Americans into triple figures with four minutes still on the clock.

Love and Carmelo Anthony had 16 points each for the Americans, with Anthony shooting 100% with two three-pointers, two free throws and four from the paint.

Anthony Davis was also a perfect five-of-five with two free throws for 12 points, and Kevin Durant had 13.

The excellent Ben Romdhane had 22 points for Tunisia.

London 2012 Olympics: Great Britain 62 Brazil 67 in basketball

Great Britain 62 Brazil 67: Deng's magic fails to inspire hosts to basketball victory

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 31 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Great Britain's men came within touching distance of an Olympic victory over Brazil but fell away at the end against the South Americans.

Like the women on Monday, Britain held a late lead – albeit narrow – but could not hold on down the stretch. The game had remained close throughout with the teams trading baskets and the lead all the way.

But after Luol Deng had given Britain a one-point lead with back-to-back three-pointers four minutes from the end, Brazil went on a 7-0 spurt to make it 63-57.

Leap of faith: Luol Deng jumps to score against Brazil in the Basketball Arena

Leap of faith: Luol Deng jumps to score against Brazil in the Basketball Arena

Nene was called for illegal goaltending against Joel Freeland to make it 63-59 with 64 seconds to go, but Tiago Splitter's lay-up extended Brazil's advantage.

Deng could only make one of three free throws to leave Britain five adrift with 30 seconds left and Marcelinho Huertas killed Britain off from the line.

The ugly opening few minutes will not want to be remembered by either team. Freeland had to leave the court almost immediately after taking a blow from Anderson Varejao and Brazil built a quick 4-0 lead.

Dan Clark, who has been battling ankle problems since before the Games began, entered and gave Britain a spark with six quick points and Pops Mensah-Bonsu made it 8-4.

Cut above: Without Deng, Great Britain would have been brushed aside

Cut above: Without Deng, Great Britain would have been brushed aside

Mike Lenzly then entered the game for his Olympic debut following a calf injury and made his mark with a three-pointer that increased the gap to 11-4. But the good news soon turned bad as he went down off the ball and had to be helped off the court and likely out of the Olympics.

There was more bad news for Britain when Brazil were guilty of blatant goaltending with the score 13-9, but the basket was not given. They kept fighting and Deng turned a steal into two easy points, only to then turn the ball over himself seconds later and give Varejao free passage to the basket.

Deng made it 24-19 from another steal but Brazil came back again and a careless pass from Mensah-Bonsu let Larry Taylor tie it 27-27 before the break.

The third quarter was a tight affair with neither team able to get much separation as they traded baskets and the lead.

Freeland made a pair of nice reverse jump-shots and Britain could be grateful for Splitter's poor free throw shooting as the two teams remained locked together.

Delight: Brazil's team celebrate at the end of their victory over the hosts Great Britain

Delight: Brazil's team celebrate at the end of their victory over the hosts Great Britain

Brazil began to edge clear towards the end of the quarter, though, with Varejao making it 48-43 with a lay-up after Robert Archibald could only split his free throws. Varejao then made it 50-43 to start the final stanza, but Clark countered with a three-pointer and Nate Reinking made it 50-48 to lift the crowd.

Moments later Reinking swished a three to put Britain back in front but Splitter and Huertas snatched the lead right back. Splitter's free throws made it 56-51 but Deng found his shooting range with back-to-back three-pointers to put Britain on top.

But just as quickly, Splitter regained the lead and Marquinhos Sousa's three had Brazil 61-57 up. A quick Brazil break then ended with Nene dunking the ball in and drawing the foul, with the game starting to get out of Britain's reach. Reinking and Mensah-Bonsu led Britain with 13 points each while Deng had 12. Splitter poured in 21 points for Brazil.

Sir Bobby Robson would have loved watching Newcastle v Manchester City

Bobby's dazzler: Legend Robson would have loved this cracker

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 4 May 2012

Newcastle will unveil a statue of Sir Bobby Robson on Sunday morning in a corner of St James’ Park. It will be a moment of celebration in honour of one of English football’s most popular figures.

Three hours later, this Geordie temple will reverberate to the passion of what promises to be one of the greatest Premier League occasions of the season. The kind of game Bobby would have loved.

/05/04/article-2139720-12ECC24B000005DC-126_468x301.jpg” width=”468″ height=”301″ alt=”Good pointers: Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye get ready to face Manchester City” class=”blkBorder” />

Good pointers: Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye get ready to face Manchester City

No-one will have a greater say in the outcome than a Newcastle team and their supporters still dreaming of a place in the Champions League.

Just like it is for Roberto Mancini and City, the prize seems tantalisingly close now if only Newcastle can beat Arsenal and Tottenham to third place.

‘In the scheme of the Premier League it’s a huge game,’ said manager Alan Pardew. ‘A Champions League position on our part and more importantly for Manchester City the title.

‘It would be fantastic for them to break the Manchester United stranglehold. Ourselves and QPR are what stands between them and winning the title. We’ve taken points off Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Man United. City are the only ones. Now, looking at that record, you would have to say maybe we can.’

Along with Robson’s family, who will attend the unveiling, there will be members of his Newcastle team that reached the knockout stage of the Champions League nine years ago.

Many feel that Pardew’s achievement with the current squad would surpass that. ‘We’re still the outsiders for third purely because of the fixtures we’ve got,’ he said.

‘We could win both games and still not get into the Champions League which would hurt, but we’re going to try and do that. Hopefully, Spurs or Arsenal will slip up somewhere. It’s really set up for a great occasion and I’m looking forward to seeing Bobby’s statue and then the game. It’s going to be a special day.’

Legend: Sir Bobby Robson would have loved a game like this

Legend: Sir Bobby Robson would have loved a game like this

Sir Alex Ferguson maintains that if City win on Tyneside before United face Swansea at Old Trafford the title race is as good as over.

Asked about that yesterday, Mancini responded in the same tongue-in-cheek manner he has adopted towards questions regarding United on numerous occasions recently.

‘I agree,’ said the Italian. ‘Probably. He has more experience than me. If he said it like that I agree with him.’

Mancini knows only too well, however, that a significant challenge awaits at St James’ Park after victory in the Manchester derby on Monday night saw City go back to the top of the table.

Newcastle’s midweek win at Chelsea, courtesy of Papiss Cisse’s magnificent double, served as a warning that, as much as City could take a huge step towards the title on Sunday, it could also be the day the advantage passes back to United.

‘It will be harder to beat Newcastle than it was Manchester United,’ admitted Mancini. ‘We were at home then but Sunday will be really difficult because of the crowd and Newcastle are a good team. Cisse is incredible.’

In Mancini’s opinion, there is no doubt his players arrive on Tyneside within touching distance of the title thanks to a derby performance that brought out the best in them.

Unbelievable: Papiss Cisse has been in sublime form

Unbelievable: Papiss Cisse has been in sublime form

Not Monday’s win or the stunning 6-1 demolition of Ferguson’s side at Old Trafford in October. For Mancini, it was City’s backs-to-the wall response to going three goals behind and one man down following Vincent Kompany’s sending-off in an FA Cup third round derby in January that helped strip away the aura surrounding United and convinced his team they had it within themselves to beat their rivals in the title race.

City may have lost 3-2 but Mancini said yesterday: ‘That game was important in changing our mentality against United.’

Ferguson was in equally reflective mood as he cursed the two late goals and two lost points against Everton a fortnight ago that re-opened the door to City. ‘If we lose the League we’ll have to accept it’s the Everton game that did it, no doubt about that,’ he said.

If Pardew bails out United, they might just build a statue of him at Old Trafford.

Celtic fined 21k by UEFA

Celtic fined 21k by UEFA over fans' banner at Udinese clash

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 28 March 2012

Celtic have been fined 21,000 for fans' misbehaviour in the Europa League game against Udinese in Italy last December.

After the 1-1 draw at the Stadio Friuli, the Parkhead club were charged with, 'the displaying of a banner of an offensive nature and the setting off of fireworks by supporters'.

The decision to fine Celtic was made by UEFA's control and disciplinary body on February 23.

Banner bother: Celtic fans had a message for UEFA at the Udinese game

Banner bother: Celtic fans had a message for UEFA at the Udinese game

A UEFA spokesperson said: 'Celtic have been fined 25,000 euros by UEFA's control and disciplinary body for breaching Article 11 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations.

'The decision was taken on February 23. It is nothing out of the ordinary that it wasn't announced then. We can have 100 cases at the monthly meetings. Celtic did not appeal.'

Some Celtic fans held aloft a two-part banner which insulted UEFA, days after the club were fined about 12,700 for 'illicit chanting' involving pro-IRA songs at a Europa League game against Rennes at Celtic Park.

Several flares were also let off and one was thrown on to the pitchside track.

Raging: Manager Neil Lennon hit out at sections of the Celtic support

Raging: Manager Neil Lennon hit out at sections of the Celtic support

Article
11 pertains to: inappropriate behaviour on the part of their
supporters, including; the invasion or attempted invasion of the field
of play; the throwing of objects; the lighting of fireworks or any other
objects; the use of laser pointers or similar electronic devices; the
use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any
message that is not fit for a sports event, in particular if it is of a
political, offensive or provocative nature; acts of damage; any other
lack of order or discipline observed inside or around the stadium.

Celtic banned for life one fan who was arrested in Italy over the alleged assault of a club steward, and who they say was one of those responsible for the banner.

Manager Neil Lennon and chief executive Peter Lawwell hit out out at the 'rogue' element within their support on the day after the game.

The club also vowed to sift through photographic evidence to find those fans responsible for the use of the flares, warning that they will take 'appropriate action'.

Lawwell said: 'It is very frustrating. Those people are not Celtic supporters.

'We will weed them out and these guys will not get back into Celtic Football Club.

'One or two silly little juvenile boys doing funny kids' pranks and stuff is bringing the whole of Scottish football down.'

Lennon added: 'My only surprise is that they got the spelling (on the banner) right.

'I am very disappointed, they have let me down, they have let the board, players and background staff down and 99.9 per cent of the support down.'

Australian Open 2012: Ivan Lendl is perfect for Andy Murray, says Tony Roche

Lendl just champion for Murray, insists Roche as world No 4 awaits Australian Open draw

In a near-deserted corner of Melbourne Park, Andy Murray’s practice session crackled with intensity under the watchful eye of Ivan Lendl, with the British No 1 pounding winners past Argentinian sparring partner Juan Monaco.

As he did so, Tony Roche, who did for Lendl what the Czech now hopes to do for Murray, gave a ringing endorsement of the coaching appointment that has the tennis world abuzz.

Australian Davis Cup coach Roche, who turned the former world No 1 from Grand Slam final loser into a serial winner of big titles, described the new match-up as a ‘statement of great confidence’ in the abilities of the 24-year-old Scot.

A few pointers: Ivan Lendl dictates Andy Murray's training in Melbourne

A few pointers: Ivan Lendl dictates Andy Murray's training in Melbourne

Lendl had fallen short in his first four Grand Slam finals when Roche hooked up with him and that was converted into a career that bagged eight of the world’s biggest tournaments.

‘It’s obviously a similar situation to that which Andy finds himself in,’ said Roche. ‘Ivan knows what it takes to turn it round and win on the big occasions.

‘He was very strong on studying the opposition and working out their strengths and weaknesses. He was so professional about that and this is what he will bring to the table.’

Watching brief: Lendl has his eye on Murray

Watching brief: Lendl has his eye on Murray

Murray is set to discover who he will be facing next week in the first round of the Australian Open.

‘It might be only about finding that extra percentage point in your performance and at this level that may be all it needs,’ said Roche, a left-hander in his playing days.

‘When I got together with Ivan the two guys giving him most trouble were John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. He wanted to know how lefties thought.

‘We ended up having eight great years. Andy should draw great strength from the fact Ivan wants to coach him. It’s a statement of great confidence in him.’

Murray has arrived off the back of winning the ATP event in Brisbane and is seeded fourth for a tournament where he has reached the final for the last two years.

Caroline Wozniacki, however, is facing a battle to be fit for the year’s first grand slam after being reduced to tears during a dramatic quarter-final defeat by Agnieszka Radwanska at the Sydney International.

Wozniacki has injured her left wrist and lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, which could signal the end of her reign as world No 1. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is set to take top spot.