Rome: Italy became the first side to enter the knockout stages of Euro 2020 thanks to a 3-0 win over Switzerland here.
The result means they will now fight for the top spot in Group A in their final league game against Wales, who beat Turkey earlier in the day.
Manuel Locatelli was Italy’s hero with two goals as Roberto Mancini’s side displayed assured and attacking football, Xinhua reports.
In Group A’s other match at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored a goal each for Wales as they won 2-0 against Turkey.
Both sides traded attacks in the first half, but Wales looked more dangerous in front of the goal and scored the opener in the 42nd minute when Ramsey chested Gareth Bale’s chip into the box before tapping the ball past Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir.
Turkey’s Burak Yilmaz should have restored parity early in the second half, but the captain wasted a golden chance from close range following a corner. At the hour mark, Wales were awarded a penalty but Bale put the spot-kick over the bar.
Bale had a hand in Wales’s second goal though, as the striker danced through Turkey’s penalty box before squaring to Connor Roberts, who sealed the deal in the dying seconds of injury time.read more
Munich: Germany got their Euro 2020 campaign back on track — and blew Group F wide open — with a 4-2 romp against Portugal in Munich.
After Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his 107th international goal, leaving him two short of Ali Daei’s all-time record, to give Portugal an early lead, the Germans roared back with four unanswered goals. German pressure forced own goals by Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro to put the hosts 2-1 up at half-time.
A Kai Havertz goal underlined Germany’s dominance before left-back Robin Gosens capped his man-of-the-match display by heading in Germany’s fourth goal to add to his two assists.
Portugal hit back when Diogo Jota tapped in Ronaldo’s hooked volley to make it 4-2 with 23 minutes left.
Germany continued their domination of Portugal, who they have now beaten five consecutive times at World Cup or European Championship finals since Euro 2000.
Germany created a huge amount of chances compared to 1-0 defeat by France, while Portugal lacked the composure of their 3-0 win over Hungary the same day.
This is the first time Portugal have conceded four goals since losing 4-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.
With the result, France (4 points) remained atop the standings in Group F followed by Germany (3 points), Portugal (3 points) and Hungary (1 point).
With a win over Hungary on June 23, Germany can secure their progression, while holders Portugal face a tough task with France.read more
New Delhi: A glimpse into the stupendous athletics career of legendary Milkha Singh, who passed away aged 91, can be had from this mind boggling fact: his 400 metres Indian national record stood for 38 years and the 400m Asian record for 26 years. In 1960 in Rome, he came closest to winning an individual Olympic Games medal as an Indian, in 400m, eventually finishing fourth in a photo finish.
Milkha was one of the favorites to win the 400m gold in Rome. It was probably natural, too, as going into the Olympics, he is said to have won 77 out of 80 races, including the 1958 Commonwealth Games gold in 440 yards.
But one shortcoming probably cost Milkha an Olympic medal. He had a habit of looking at his opponents over his shoulder while running races, and when he did the same in Rome it was decisive, though he had led the race until 200m. Later he admitted that he had paid a heavy price for his habit.
Interestingly, Milkha broke the existing world record of 45.9 sec in Rome, and so the three who finished ahead of him. He finished fourth with a time of 45.6 seconds, as per a hand-held device, while an unofficial electronic timer at the games clocked him at 45.73 sec. This has been a point of contention, though.
Whatever the reality, Milkha emerged from Rome as the ‘Flying Sikh’. A legend was born.
Until Rome 1960, no Indian had come so close to winning an individual Olympic medal; in hockey, though, India had been a dominant force.
Milkha’s 400m Asian record of 45.63 seconds stood for 26 years, before being broken by Susumu Takona of Japan.
Milkha was born in Layalpur, in the undivided India, and now in Pakistan. His love for athletics began after he enrolled himself with the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) of the Indian Army in Delhi.
His talent blossomed while being with the Army. Fortunately for him, his officers encouraged him, and that would have played a role in him winning the 200m and 400m races at a Services Athletics Meet in 1955.
Milkha practiced on his own while with the Army and clinched gold medals in both 200m and 400m at the 1956 National Games in Patiala, and two years later at the Cuttack Nationals, setting national records in both races.
His sporting achievements won him kudos from the Army, and the Indian government awarded him the Padma Shri in 1959. The same year, he was awarded the prestigious Helms Award.
Milkha took premature retirement from the Army and took up the post of Deputy Director of Sports with the Punjab government.
Decades later, a Bollywood film was made on Milkha Singh, starring Farhan Akhtar.
Milkha died at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh, where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.
Six days before he passed away, his wife, Nirmal, had died on June 13. A former India volleyball captain, she was 85, and she too succumbed to Covid and related complications.
Milkha Singh was cremated with full state honors at the Sector 25 cremation ground in Chandigarh with a police contingent according gun salute by reversing arms and sounding the last post to the legendary athlete, who held the 400m national record for 38 years, while his Asian record in the same event remained unmatched for 26 years.
The Punjab government had earlier declared one-day state mourning and a public holiday as a mark of respect to the legendary athlete.read more
Tokyo: Athletes and officials who violate the Covid-19 rules could be kicked out of the Olympics, according to revised rules outlined in the third and final editions of the Tokyo 2020 playbook revealed.
The third version of the playbook, published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, added more than 10 pages compared to the second edition. Most of the contents are regulations about testing, consequences and sanctions.
Athletes may be exposed to the following non-exhaustive range of potential consequences of warnings, temporary or permanent withdrawal of accreditation, temporary or permanent ineligibility, or exclusion from the Games, disqualification or financial sanctions, the playbook said.
This updated version of the playbook highlights that there may also be measures or sanctions imposed by the respective organisations or the Japanese authorities in accordance with their respective rules and regulations.
“It is crucial that the measures outlined in the playbook are respected in order to make the Games safe and secure for all Games participants, and the people of Japan,” IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said.read more
Southampton: India named six batsmen, five pace bowlers and two spinners along with two wicketkeeper-batsmen in the 15-member squad for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, starting on Friday at the Hampshire Bowl here.
From the main squad that has travelled to England, Mayank Agarwal, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and KL Rahul have been left out. Of these players, Patel and Sundar had played in India’s previous Test, the fourth and final match against England in Motera, Ahmedabad, in March.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has forced teams to send extended squads as travel has become difficult due to the long and mandatory quarantine periods.
While the Indian Test squad will be busy with the WTC final (June 18-22) and a five-Test series in August-September, a limited-overs team will be playing an ODI and a T20I series in Sri Lanka from July 13 to 25.
The white ball series is an opportunity for players to stake claim in the squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in October-November and it will be interesting to find out how missing an opportunity to prove themselves will impact the chances of Sundar, Patel, Thakur and Rahul.read more
Seville: When Cristiano Ronaldo stepped onto the pitch in Portugal’s Euro 2020 opener against Hungary, history had already been made — the 36-year-old became the first player to appear at five editions of the European Championship. But it was not the only record he set that day — the double he hit in Portugal’s 3-0 win made him the all-time top-scorer in competition history, breaking away from French legend Michel Platini to stand alone at the top with 11 Euro goals.
“It was essential to start on the right note in order to gain confidence,” said Ronaldo. “Now, we have to continue and win the next game.”
“It was a difficult game, against an opponent who defended very well during 90 minutes, but we scored three goals, and I am very grateful to the team for helping me score two goals,” he added.
The match with Hungary looked to be heading for a draw as the Portuguese struggled to break down a dogged Hungarian defence but Rafael Guerreiro finally opened the scoring in the 84th minute with a deflected strike.
Ronaldo doubled the lead through a penalty two minutes later, and made it 3-0 in injury time after a brilliant one-two with Rafa Silva.
The other Group F match saw a clash between the two most recent world champions, with the 2018 World Cup winners France securing a 1-0 victory over 2014 champions Germany at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
With the results, Portugal top Group F with three points followed by France, who are equal on points but sit second on goal difference.
Netherlands, Austria, England all started with wins in Euro 2020.read more