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VALLADOLID, Spain -- Real Madrids Spanish title ambitions are all but over after a late equalizer by relegation-struggler Real Valladolid secured a 1-1 draw on Wednesday. Patric Hornqvist Jersey . Madrid lost Cristiano Ronaldo to injury early in the match and failed to create any clear scoring chances after the Portugal forwards exit. His team now trails city and Champions League final rival Atletico Madrid by four points with two games to play. Madrid led through Sergio Ramos 35th-minute free kick, but the visitors sat back too deep in the closing stages. With Ronaldo on the sidelines encouraging his teammates, Madrid ultimately buckled after an 85th-minute corner kick. Humberto Ososrio headed home a deserved equalizer -- and an important goal in Valladolids bid to avoid relegation. "Its clear, no?" Ramos told Canal Plus when asked if Madrids title hopes were over. "Its a shame, since we fought hard. Against a team fighting relegation its always difficult." Atletico leads with 88 points, Barcelona has 85 points and Madrid is third with 84. Atletico can secure the title on Sunday with a victory against Malaga if Barcelona fails to win at Elche. Atletico travels to Barcelona on the final match day. Ronaldo seemed to pull up clutching his right leg following a long run through Valladolids half moments before being substituted for Alvaro Morata. The Portugal forward had recently returned from a left leg injury. With Ronaldo unavailable for free kicks, Ramos stepped up to curl a swooping right-footed shot over the defensive wall and under the bar past goalkeeper Jaime Jimenez for the Madrid defenders fifth goal in four games. Madrid, the record 32-time domestic champion, failed to conjure up any more concrete scoring chances, with Angel Di Maria and Morata coming closest with Jimenez standing up to the few challenges. "We had the game controlled. We didnt have the mental energy to finish these games. There were mistakes in these games" said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose team recorded back-to-back league draws after routing Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League final. "Its going to be very difficult" to win the title, Ancelotti added. As the Copa del Rey champion, Madrids hopes of an elusive treble look to have been dashed. Ancelotti will now have to decide whether to play Ronaldo in the final two games or save the 50-goal marksman for the Champions League final against Atletico on May 24. The draw moved Valladolid up to 16th in the 20-team league. Bryan Rust Jersey.The South African had three birdies on the front nine and another four after the turn at Leopard Creek Country Club to move to 16-under 128 overall.Grace, who won all four of his European Tour titles in 2012, dropped his only shot of the competition on the par-3 fifth. Kris Letang Jersey .com) - His team lost in the round of 16 of the FCS playoffs, yet Northern Iowa football coach Mark Farley says his team has made a strong case to be voted to the top 5 in the final rankings.TORONTO – Chad Jenkins is living the life of the 25th man. On his fourth recall this season, hes been on charter planes and stayed in five-star hotels. Hes ridden buses along freeways and turnpikes and stayed in not so five-star hotels, which is the routine of minor league life. Sometimes, most of the time in fact, hes been a reliever. During his last stint in Buffalo, with the Triple-A Bisons, he was a starter. There was that time, shortly into the season, his recall was announced and then retracted because he hadnt spent the first 10 days on option to the minor leagues. Its been a whirlwind, to say the least. "Its funny, I think after the second send down this year a teammate of mine in Buffalo goes, I dont know how you do it. Id be so mentally wrecked I wouldnt know which way I was going," Jenkins told TSN.ca. "Its funny. I laugh, you know, there are times when it really gets to me and I have like a rough day and Im down and out." There are other days, too, like when he was traveling with Buffalo in Louisville, Kentucky. His parents had come to visit from their Atlanta-area home. Jenkins was in a bad mood, moping and struggling to accept the up and down nature of his role. The Bisons had a game that night and not long before first pitch, something clicked. "At the end of the day I realized that I get to play a sport for a living and no matter where I am Im healthy, my familys healthy and thats all that really matters," said Jenkins. He feels a part of this team this time round. Jenkins is pitching. He threw a clean inning on June 4 in Detroit, using his patented sinkerball to induce three groundball outs. The next day he left an out from his first career big league save, hurling two-and-a-third scoreless innings in relief of J.A. Happ. Fast forward five days, to Tuesday night, when Jenkins put up another three-and-a-third scoreless frames in relief of Happ. The Jays lost but Jenkins, as is the demand of the long reliever, stopped the bleeding and gave his team a chance to win. Thanks to his three outings since the last recall, his ERA has dropped from 9.00 to 2.79. "Im not a big stat rat but I dont like seeing my ERA in the nines and I had to sit on that for two weeks," said Jenkins. "Every opportunity I get, in the end, is to the help the team win but at the same time its like, a little pride in myself. I dont like seeing such a high number beside my name." Jenkins had made four starts for Buffalo prior to rejoining the Jays. Thrust into the bullpen, he was forced to rearrange his routine. "Whats tough is when I start, I pitch, day off, side, two days off and pitch again," said Jenkins. "Your body gets into a routine. You run long distance. I lift heavy weights because thats just how I like to work out. I get back here, I switch my lifting. I lift every other day, every two days, just trying to get my body going. I stretch a lot more." Hes doing his best to "preserve bullets," as pitchers will say. Jenkins has incorporated a number of mobility exercises, including the use of the foam roller to loosen up his core muscles. He doesnt need to throw morre. Mark Recchi Jersey. Hes been doing plenty of that. "Im getting hot it feels like every night," said Jenkins. "I know since the second day in Detroit Ive had one day when I havent thrown off a mound. Arms holding up great, I cant complain there and hopefully I can keep it going." Manager John Gibbons has been a vocal supporter of Jenkins. The 26-year-old former first round pick often is the odd man out because the Jays can send him to the minor leagues without first exposing him to irrevocable waivers. Jenkins doesnt have a hard fastball and isnt a strikeout pitcher. Despite being selected 20th overall in the 2009 draft, hes come to believe the cautionary tale he heard from a minor league teammate shortly after turning pro: its hard to make it to the big leagues; its even harder to remain in the big leagues. "I didnt really heed that warning," said Jenkins. "Now that Ive been racking up a lot of miles I know for a fact its hard to stay." Pillar optioned to Buffalo The Blue Jays sent down Kevin Pillar before Wednesday afternoons series finale with the Twins. The move seemed strange, although the purpose was two-fold. First, the club needs relief help with its two long men, Todd Redmond and Chad Jenkins, unavailable on Wednesday due to their recent workloads. Reliever Bobby Korecky fills the need and its likely only for one day. "The thinking was, weve been talking about it the last couple of days anyway, we havent faced many lefties lately and for this next, pretty much this whole road trip, even when we get back, we dont face a lefty starter," said manager John Gibbons. "Send him down and get him some at-bats instead of sitting out there rotting." Toronto embarks on a three-city, 10-game road trip, which starts in Baltimore on Thursday. The Orioles will throw four right-handers at the Jays. Based on the pitching matchups the Jays believe they will see, the Yankees and Reds will each throw three right-handers. When the Jays return home on June 23 to play New York, the Yankees will throw three right-handers. The Jays arent scheduled to see a left-hander until their home series against the White Sox, which begins on June 26. In the absence of Colby Rasmus, Pillar has been part of a platoon with Anthony Gose in centerfield. In 38 plate appearances this season, Pillar is hitting .243/.237/.324. Three of his nine hits have been doubles. Jays make hay Despite the Jays recent slide, four losses in five games, the club has wrapped up a stretch in which it played 16 of 19 games at home. Toronto went 13-6 in that span. The Jays have 29 games remaining before the All-Star Break, 20 of which will be played on the road. After the trip to Baltimore (four games), New York and Cincinnati (three each), the Jays will return home to play the Yankees (three games), the Chicago White Sox (four games) and the Milwaukee Brewers (two games). The pre-All-Star Break road trip will be a demanding one and will rack up the frequent flyer points. The Jays will go to Oakland for four games, to Anaheim for three games and then head east to play the Rays three times in Tampa Bay. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL JerseysWholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
ROME -- Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic reached the doubles final of the Italian Open on Saturday as they beat top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan for the second week in a row, advancing 7-6 (3), 4-6, 12-10. Dallas Goedert Jersey . The sixth-seeded pair, who beat the Americans last week in the Madrid Masters final, needed one hour 39 minutes to complete the semifinal victory at the Foro Italico. "Today we were fortunate," said Nestor. "It was a tight match with both teams playing well. We both had chances but we found a way to win today. "It seems that against the Bryans right now, we can play our best against them when we have to." Nestor and Zimonjic will play an unseeded duo on Sunday. Robin Haase of the Netherlands and Spains Feliciano Lopez were to play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in the late semifinal. Either way, it will be a first career meeting for the veteran duo of Nestor and Zimonjic. "Both teams are very dangerous, and weve struggled against teams we dont know much about," said Nestor. "We need to come to the court ready to play every point and not be satisfied with whats been going on for the last few weeks. "Our goal is to play well. If they are too good, well they are too good. If not, then we win a second title in a row." In the match tiebreak, Nestor and Zimonjic took a 6-3 lead only to give up three straight points. The Bryans blew a match point before Nestors team claimed victory on their second match point. The Canadian and his partner have won 26 titles as a team, including victories at Sydney and Madrid this season. They lost finals in Dubai and Barcelona. Nestor also won the Brisbane title alongside Mariusz Fyrstenberg of Poland in the opening week of the season. The Canadian is third with 84 career titles, trailing Mike Bryan (100) and Bob Bryan (98). The 41-year-old Canadian will be playing in his 140th career doubles final. Avonte Maddox Jersey .L. - Defending womens champion Alberta improved to 3-0 at the Canadian junior curling championships with a 10-3 win over Ontario in Sundays afternoon draw. Custom Eagles Jerseys .C. -- The Charlotte Bobcats said head coach Steve Clifford underwent a successful procedure Friday to have two stents placed in his heart.BEREA, Ohio - The agent for quarterback Brian Hoyer says rookie Johnny Manziel being on Clevelands roster will have no impact on contract negotiations with the Browns.Hoyer, who led the Browns to a 31-10 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, is 6-2 as Clevelands starter and in the final year of a two-year contract. Hoyer beat out Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, to be the starter in training camp and his performance this season has the Browns (3-2) in an interesting predicament.The team selected Manziel in the first round of this years draft with the idea he would be its quarterback of the future. However, Hoyers development could change the Browns plans.Agent Joe Linta said Hoyer is remaining patient and focused solely on winning.Although we have had no discussions with the Browns since the spring, Johnny Manzziels presence will have no impact on any discussions that we might have in the future with the team, Linta said in an email. Josh Sweat Jersey. . Brians not worried about his contract and the situation will take shape as the season progresses.Earlier, Hoyer said hes focused on this weeks game against Jacksonville and made it clear his preference would be to stay with the Browns.I dont think I need to say any more than Im from Cleveland and this is where I want to be, he said. But I also am a competitor, so I want to be somewhere where Im playing.Browns coach Mike Pettine deferred any talk about Hoyers future to general manager Ray Farmer.I dont want to get too wrapped up into it, Pettine said. There is the business side of it. We recognize it.___AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black JerseysCamo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
NEW YORK -- Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees. Deadrin Senat Jersey . Acquired earlier this month from NL West also-rans, they teamed up Thursday to help the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-2. McCarthy threw six more solid innings, Headley delivered another timely hit and New York won for the sixth time in seven games. "From the beginning of spring training, its about giving yourself a chance in the post-season," said Headley, obtained this week in a trade with San Diego. "What an opportunity for me," he said. "I take it as an honour and privilege to be here." McCarthy improved to 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts since the Yankees got him from Arizona. He was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA at the time of the trade. "I really felt I wanted more pressure," he said. "Its ramped up all the way. I feel like Ive responded." "Its the opposite of how I felt earlier in this year. I was a burden on the team and holding things up," he said. With the Yankees, the newcomers are now in the thick of the race for the AL East crown and the wild-card spots. "When you go out and get players that produce, its a lift for your team," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Texas fell to 3-17 in July and dropped 22 games under .500 for the first time since the final week of the 1988 season. "Right now, were just not getting it done," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. McCarthy limited Texas to one run and four hits in six innings. He struck out five, and fanned Alex Rios to finish off an 11-pitch at-bat that ended the first inning. Rios almost got even in the eighth with Texas trailing 3-2, hitting a drive off All-Star reliever Dellin Betances that was caught on the warning track in right field. David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances. Colby Lewis (6-8) gave up three runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. He took the loss, but kept his composure -- in his previous start, he got rankled when Torontos Colby Rasmus bunted for a two-out single midway through the game. There were no problems with the field at Yankee Stadium, either. New York won 2-1 Wednesday night when a sudden, heavy storm prevented the grounds crew from quickly putting the tarp down in the fifth inning. The rain stopped soon enough, but the field was too wet to continue. Texas took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Elvis Andrus. Brett Gardner doubled in the fourth and scored on Headleys two-out single off the right-field wall. Headley was acquired from the Padres on Tuesday and beat Texas that night with a single in the 14th inning. Francisco Cervelli hit a go-ahead double in the fifth and later scored when left fielder Shin-Soo Choo made a fine running catch on Gardners sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead. Earlier, Rangers centre fielder Leonys Martin ran way back to grab Ichiro Suzukis drive. J.P. Arencibia homered in the Texas seventh. Brian McCann had an RBI double in the New York eighth. "Im not frustrated, I think its going to happen, I think were going to turn the hitting around," Arencibia said. NOTES: The Yankees evened their home record at 24-24. They have 33 home games left, most in the AL. ... A day after Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to Detroit, RHP Neftali Feliz will inherit the role for the time being, Washington said. ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter got a day off for rest. ... Toronto LHP Mark Buehrle (10-6, 2.86) starts Friday night at Yankee Stadium against RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 3.88). Buehrle is 1-11 lifetime vs. the Yankees. ... Texas RHP Yu Darvish will remain on regular rest after pitching 4 1-3 innings in the rain-shortened loss, Washington said. ... Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux will miss the weekend series vs. Oakland to see brother Greg inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins will fill in for Maddux, and Triple-A pitching coach Brad Holman will be the bullpen coach for the three games against the As. Custom Falcons Jerseys . Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane came up big when it counted, tallying two goals and an assist. He scored the game-winner with 4:45 remaining in the third period, stopping on the right hashmarks, carrying the puck up through the top of the Kings zone, then firing a wrist shot from the top of the circles past Jonathan Quick, who had his view obstructed by Andrew Shaw. Isaiah Oliver Jersey . Jose Bautista homered for the fifth straight game in the sixth inning, following a two-out solo homer by Melky Cabrera. Edwin Encarnacion led off the seventh with a homer to tie the game 3-3 and, with two out in the seventh, Munenori Kawasaki came through with the two-out single to score pinch-runner Steve Tolleson with what proved to be the winning run.ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich is expected to miss the rest of the regular season after having an operation on a groin muscle. The Capitals announced Monday on Twitter that Laich "underwent a successful procedure to release a tight adductor," which is part of the groin. The team said a full recovery usually takes four to six weeks. Washingtoons last regular-season game is April 13. Ito Smith Jersey. Laich missed two of the past three games for Washington, which entered Monday ninth in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of a playoff berth. He has eight goals and seven assists this season. Hampered by a groin injury, Laich only played in nine games last season. The Capitals play Tuesday at the Anaheim Ducks.Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
San Diego, CA - The San Diego Chargers were able to get some business out of the way prior to their upcoming training camp, with the team agreeing to terms with running back Danny Woodhead on a two-year contract extension through the 2016 season. Youri Tielemans Jersey . Woodhead, whose 76 receptions in 2013 were the second-most by a running back in the NFL last season, had one year remaining on the original deal he signed with San Diego in March of 2013. The versatile five-year pro put together a strong debut with the Chargers, recording a career-high 605 receiving yards and adding 429 yards on the ground on 106 carries. Woodhead also scored a personal-best eight touchdowns (six receiving, two rushing) and added 262 yards on 12 kick returns. "Danny is an integral part of our offense," said Chargers general manager Tom Telesco. "His work ethic and on-field production were key elements last year. We look forward to having him be a part of the Chargers organization into the future." Woodhead spent three seasons with New England prior to joining the Chargers and was a member of the Patriots 2011 AFC Championship team. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets in 2009. For his career, Woodhead has compiled 1,692 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 371 attempts and caught 176 passes for 1,674 yards with 10 scores. Toby Alderweireld Jersey . Kerber will next play Estonias Kaia Kanepi, who beat American qualifier Victoria Duval 6-1, 6-3. In other first-round matches, Lucie Safarova beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands had a 6-4, 6-3 win over Canadas Eugenie Bouchard. Romelu Lukaku Belgium Jersey . The Boston Celtics hadnt played since the All-Star break. So the Suns 100-94 victory over Boston Wednesday night was an uphill affair, with Phoenix relying on balance rather than its trademark high energy.HOUSTON -- Houston Astros right-hander Mark Appel, the top overall pick in the 2013 draft, is recovering after an appendectomy. Appel had the procedure in Houston in Thursday. General manager Jeff Luhnow says the team expects the pitcher will be able to report to spring training on time. Thhe Astros also announced that left-hander Raul Valdes had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this week. Koen Casteels Jersey. . Valdes will report to camp on Feb. 15, but his recovery time is estimated at four to six weeks. Valdes was claimed off waivers from Philadelphia in October. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
BOSTON -- Anthony Rizzo scored the tiebreaking run in the ninth, then endured some uncertain moments in the bottom of the inning before he could celebrate. Nicklas Backstrom Jersey . He and his Cubs teammates lingered on the field until a replay review confirmed the on-field decision: Rizzo had caught Luis Valbuenas throw from third base to first on a grounder in time to get Dustin Pedroia for the final out. "It was nerve-wracking," Rizzo said after Chicagos 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, "especially with Big Papi coming up." Had the call been overturned, David Ortiz would have batted with runners at first and second and two outs. "I didnt even see the replay," said Pedroia, who gestured in frustration after crossing the bag. "I feel like I was right there. It was bang-bang. I dont know." Rizzo started the ninth with a single, went to third on a double by Starlin Castro and scored on Valbuenas sacrifice fly off Koji Uehara (3-2). Mookie Betts made the catch in medium right field, but his throw was off line and Rizzo scored easily. "Oh, gosh, what a great at-bat," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He fell behind (and) was just still able to put enough of the barrel on the baseball to get it deep enough to score the run." The double was the 37th extra-base hit for Castro, who entered the game tied with Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies for the major league lead among shortstops with 36. Pedro Strop (1-3) pitched a perfect eighth and Hector Rondon worked the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances. Boston continued to struggle offensively one night after getting no hits against Jake Arrieta for 7 2-3 innings until Stephen Drew singled. The Red Sox ended that game with season lows of two hits and three base runners in a 2-0 loss. In their last five games, theyve scored more than two runs just once. "It gets a little frustrating at times, particularly with the number of opportunities we continue to create," manager John Farrell said. "And thats the thing that we have to continue to focus on internally, is that the opportunities are there and yet at times were not cashing in." But their dominant home pitching persisted. For the 14th straight game at Fenway Park, the Red Sox allowed no more than three runs, extending their franchise record. The last longer streak in the American League was 15 games by the Chicago White Sox, the last game in 1966 and the first 14 in 1967. The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth against Edwin Jackson. Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled and scored from third on a single by Pedroia. The Cubs tied it in the sixth after going hitless against Clay Buchholz since Chris Coghlan led off the game with a single. "Both Jax and Buchholz were grinding it out against each other," Renteria said. Justin Ruggiano started the sixth with a double, moved to third on a single by Darwin Barney and scored when Coghlan grounded into a force play at second base. Ryan Sweeneys single put runners at first and third, but the threat ended when Rizzo lined out to first baseman Mike Napoli, who stepped on first to double up Sweeney. Chicago threatened again in the seventh when a single by Castro, a passed ball and a hit batter put runners at first and third with one out. Andrew Miller replaced Buchholz and struck out pinch-hitter Junior Lake and Ruggiano to end the inning. NOTES: Boston used an all-rookie outfield of LF Brock Holt, CF Bradley and RF Betts. Holt played only the infield in limited time in the majors the past two seasons. Betts was mostly a minor league second baseman but has played only the outfield in his three games since being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Jackson pitched six innings, just the second time hes lasted that long in his last eight starts. ... The Red Sox sent LHP Rich Hill from Triple-A Pawtucket to the Los Angeles Angels for cash and released LHP Chris Capuano, who was designated for assignment last Wednesday. ... Boston 3B Xander Bogaerts is hitless in his last 19 at-bats after going 0 for 4. ... Travis Wood (7-6) faces Bostons Brandon Workman (1-1) on Wednesday night in the finale of the three-game interleague series. Brett Connolly Jersey . 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell while figuring out which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Braden Holtby Jersey .The Dallas Cowboys released Sam from the practice squad Tuesday, dropping the rush end as they prepare for several potential reinforcements to return to the defensive line.Danny Willett has told Sky Sports News HQ that the reality of his Masters triumph is finally sinking in - and he wants some more of it. The unheralded 28-year-old capitalised on champion Jordan Spieths spectacular self-implosion on Sunday to land his first major in nerveless fashion.He becomes the first European to win at Augusta since 1999 and only the second English player to wear the green jacket but he is determined not to rest on his laurels. Masters triumph for Willett Englands Danny Willett enjoys fairytale finish as Jordan Spieth falters Speaking at Manchester airport, he said: Its a great feeling but it has still not quite fully sunk in. Every extra hour that goes on, it sinks in a bit more. You realise just what you have done that little bit more, so we are just going to try and enjoy it.Its awesome what you play for, what you practice for. To be in withh a chance is great, let alone to come out as champion. Justin Williams Jersey. Its what we dream about as kids. Its been brilliant.The support had been great but it has been nice for the last 12 hours to have a little but of time to pause and reflect while I have been travelling back home. Jordan Spieth chats to Danny Willett at the presentation ceremony We are just going to do what we have been doing, keep ticking the boxes and working hard and if any more (majors) come along then that will be fantastic.I have got four weeks off now to put the clubs away. Ill see friends and family obviously and then start training again in a couple of weeks. Also See: Chandler expects more Monty backs Willett Masters delight for Willett Sir Alex: You cost me £8000 Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles have signed defensive lineman Cedric Thornton to a one-year contract. Luc Mbah a Moute Jersey . Thornton emerged as one of the leagues best defensive ends against the run in 2013. The former undrafted free agent from Division II Southern Arkansas led Philadelphias linemen with 78 tackles and had one sack. The 25-year-old Thornton would have been an exclusive rights free agent so he signed for the third-year player minimum. Mondays move was the first on defence for the NFC East champions. The Eagles re-signed or gave contract extensions last week to wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, left tackle Jason Peters and centre Jason Kelce. Houston Rockets Jerseys . So they rushed to re-sign the first baseman who general manager Ben Cherington described Friday as "a unique player." The World Series champions finalized a $32 million, two-year agreement Thursday with the slugging former catcher who turned into a surprisingly good defender. Nene Jersey . Brazilian striker Brandao opened the scoring with a header in the 55th minute before winger Franck Tabanou volleyed home from close range to double the lead in the 61st.NEW YORK, N.Y. - Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 6-3, 7-6 (2) in an one-off match at Madison Square Garden on Monday, with the pair mixed the usual exhibition hijinks with some long rallies reminiscent of their epic Grand Slam meetings. A born showman, Djokovic always has fun with the New York crowd at the U.S. Open. When on a game point Monday he shanked an overhead into the net, the Serb did push-ups in penance. It was the first time playing at the Garden for both. "I was amazed by the size of it," Djokovic said. "With the history in the world of sports and entertainment and music, its probably the most impressive and most important indoor facility in the world." Murray grimaced more than once after an unforced error as if he were a few miles away at Flushing Meadows. But he also high-fived a fan after hooking in a winner down the line. And the Brit provides plenty of entertainment value simply with his ability to run down nearly every ball. Chasing a drop shot in the first set, Murray wound up all the way on Djokovics side of the court, bumping into a TV camera along the way. Djokovic went over and jokingly massaged Murrays quad, lest he need a medical timeout. During one changeover, they pulled their phones out of their bags and met at the net to take a couple of selfies. Both tweeted them during the next break. "We might never get the chance to play here again," Murray said. "Wanted to enjoy it. Hope eeveryone who came along had a good time as well. Steve Francis Jersey. That was the whole point today." And hes in a good mood after his surgically repaired back held up well following four matches in four days in Acapulco last week. There were the obligatory exhibition shenanigans: between-the-legs shots, pulling a kid from the crowd to play a point. In a bit of a twist, Djokovic invited reigning Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who has since retired, from the stands to briefly take his place. Murray welcomed her by launching a serve as hard as he could that had the Frenchwoman ducking. Bartoli then ably exchanged groundstrokes with Murray in high-top canvas sneakers that were more fashion than function. The BNP Paribas Showdown opened with the Bryan brothers beating the McEnroe brothers 8-3 in doubles. John McEnroe added a little sizzle to the meeting a few months ago when he made some harsh comments about the current state of doubles, suggesting that top players today are the guys who werent athletic enough to make it in singles. While Bob and Mike Bryan insisted there were no hard feelings, they respectfully disagree with his opinion, and they played Monday with the seriousness of an ATP Tour match. There was no aiming any slams toward Johns head. Instead, they picked on Patrick McEnroes volleys — he doesnt play as much these days as his more-successful older brother. The twins needed 44 minutes to win the single pro set. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
PINEHURST, N. Chukwuma Okorafor Jersey .C. -- Lucy Lis friends back in California have been filling her inbox with emails. Thats the only way they can reach her at the U.S. Womens Open. The 11-year-old is too young for a cellphone. "Theyre like, Oh, youre famous now," she said, laughing. Li made quite an impression at Pinehurst No. 2 -- even if she didnt make it to the weekend. The youngest qualifier in the history of the tournament mostly held her own at the Womens Open. For the second straight day, a couple of rough holes proved to be her undoing. Hurt by a double bogey and a triple bogey, Li shot her second straight 8-over 78. According to her caddie, this week was never about her score. "She was here for the experience and the opportunity to play with the best players in the world," caddie Bryan Bush said. "She proved that she can." Li was 22 strokes behind leader Michelle Wie and 19 behind Lexi Thompson, who both know about playing the Womens Open at a young age. Wies first was in 2003 when she was 13. In 2007, Thompson became the youngest to qualify at age 12 -- until Li supplanted her. "I hope shes having a blast out there," Wie said. All eyes were on the pre-teen from the Bay Area who showed a beyond-her-years knack for bouncing back from mistakes and rough holes. She bounced back from her roughest hole -- the par-4 13th -- with one of her best. Lis tee shot on 13 landed in some thick weeds, and she missed the ball when she tried to punch it out. After a brief chat with USGA President Tom OToole, she took a drop and her shot from that rough ricocheted off the green and near the seating area. After she chipped to about 15 feet, she pushed that putt wide right and tapped in for her second triple bogey of the tournament. She came back strong: Li birdied the 14th -- her favourite moment of the tournament -- and closed her round with pars on three of her final four holes to match her opening-round score. "Im really happy with how I bounced back from the big numbers," Li said. Marlene Bauers place in tournament history as the youngest player to make the cut remained safe: She was 13 in 1947 in the second Womens Open before going on to become one of the founders of the LPGA Tour. James Washington Jersey . -- What Anthony Jennings lacked in experience, LSU more than compensated for with a talented supporting cast in the Outback Bowl. Mason Rudolph Steelers Jersey . The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in a report how Russian and international journalists have been harassed and prevented from covering sensitive stories in Sochi such as the abuse of migrant workers and environmental issues.Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Clint Dempsey made a triumphant return to Seattle on Sunday as he scored in the 71st minute to help the Sounders to a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field. Dempsey spent the past month in Brazil with the United States national team at the World Cup, but in his first game back, it was his second-half goal that separated the Cascadia Cup rivals before Marco Pappa added an insurance tally four minutes from time for the hosts. Seattle has now won four of its last five games to move 10 points clear at the top of the Western Conference. The match was an extremely cautious affair in the opening 45 minutes as the two sides combined to put just one shot on target. But things came to life after the break as Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts needed to be alert to keep out a chance from Gonzalo Pineda in the opeening minute of the half. James Washington Steelers Jersey. Dempsey nearly turned home a header from Zach Scott at close range in the 59th, but he made no mistake with his next chance. Ricketts produced a fine double save to first deny Dempsey and then Obafemi Martins in front of goal. However, Portland was unable to clear the ball and Pineda drove a shot toward the net that Dempsey was able to redirect home. Lamar Neagle nearly added another goal for the Sounders when he struck the post in the 82nd minute, while the Timbers came within inches of an equalizer in the 85th as Gaston Fernandez unleashed a long-range shot that clipped the outside of the upright with Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei easily beaten. One minute later, Seattle put the game away as Neagle led a counter-attack that saw him square the ball to Pappa inside the area for a left-footed finish. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mariners designated hitter Corey Hart will be sidelined for four to six weeks after he strained his left hamstring stealing a base over the weekend. Connor Williams Cowboys Jersey . The Mariners placed Hart on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday nights game at Texas. They recalled infielder-outfielder Nick Franklin from Triple-A Tacoma. The 32-year-old Hart injured his leg swiping second during the fourth inning of the Mariners 6-2 victory at Minnesota on Sunday. He has appeared in 37 games, hitting .209 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. With no one other natural DH on the roster, manager Lloyd McClendon said he will mix and match to fill Harts vacancy in the batting order. "We all agree we dont have a prototypical No. 4 hitter," McClendon said. "We dont have a guy thats going to hit 40 home runs. Well do the best we can." Franklin was leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting at .376. Hes a natural second baseman who played three infield positions, the outfield and served as the DH over six appearances for Seattle during a brief April call-up. McClendon said Franklin will again float around multiple positions, including second base when Robinson Cano occupies the designated hitter spot. "A lot of it depends on his legs," McClendon said of Cano, 31. "I know he prefers to play the field." Custom Cowboys Jerseys .Cullen scored the go-ahead goal at 13:47 of the third period and Nashville beat the slumping Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday in a game that wasnt decided until the last shot of the night. Cowboys Jerseys . QUARTERBACKS Carson Palmer (vs Colts)Last week: 30/42, 419 yards, 2 TDsWinners of their last three and now tied for the final wild card spot in the NFC, the Cardinals are worth keeping an eye on. RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Top-ranked Rafael Nadal survived a scare at the Rio Open on Saturday, fighting off two match points before defeating fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10) to advance to the final. Nadal will next face Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, who upset second-seeded David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 on Rios outdoor clay. Nadal has been almost unbeatable on clay in his career, compiling a 297-21 record, the best in the Open era. His last loss on the surface was 10 months ago against Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters. But this was not his night as he needed nearly three hours to defeat Andujar. Nadal is returning from a back injury he sustained in the final of the Australian Open four weeks ago -- a match he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka. "I felt empty the whole match," he said. "It was very humid, and this was the toughest day of all. I just didnt feel that great physically, and Im not talking about the back. I just didnt feel that great. "It was close because he played well, and I didnt play my best," Nadal added. Nadal acknowledged his victory was lucky. "The tiebreak was a lottery," he said. "But I played better in the tiebreak than the rest of the match." Andujar had two match points in the third-set tiebreaker but ccouldnt convert either. Connor Williams Jersey. "I played one of the best matches of my life," he said. "Maybe the best. But I had a great one across (the net) from me." Dolgopolov, who had beaten Ferrer only once in seven previous matches, won handily and didnt flinch. "I always have these type matches with him, and usually at the end he would beat me," the Ukrainian said. "I knew Id have to make those shots. If you dont win the points against him, he takes it away. Im really happy I didnt get tight and give away a lot of shots." Dolgopolov has won two previous ATP titles. Ferrer won the Copa Claro last weekend in Buenos Aires, his third consecutive title in that clay-court event. He has 21 ATP titles. In the womens tournament, top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic and fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan will face off in the final. Zakopalova defeated local hope Teliana Pereira 6-2, 6-1, and Nara won over Nastassja Burnett of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Zakopalova will be aiming for her third WTA singles title. She won two in 2004, and has since been a losing finalist 11 times. This will be Naras first WTA singles final. "Im very surprised because its on a clay court," said Nara, a university student who prefers hard courts. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
(SportsNetwork. JK Scott Jersey .com) - The Golden State Warriors stage their home opener Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena. The Warriors opened the season with a 95-77 drubbing of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena. A lot of fun, said new head coach Steve Kerr. Every game is different in this league, we know that. But youve got to find a way to win and our guys did tonight. Stephen Curry filled the stat sheet Wednesday with 24 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and five assists. Klay Thompson had 19 points and six assists for Golden State, which fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games during the first round of last seasons NBA playoffs. Marreese Speights provided 16 points off the bench and Draymond Green added 12 points and 10 boards in the triumph. Green started in place of the injured David Lee. A Rudy Gay dunk in transition off a Darren Collison steal staked the Kings to a 54-51 lead in the third before Golden State pulled away following a 19-2 run. The Warriors didnt shoot the ball great in game one. They shot 44 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3-point range, but held the Kings to 30.8 percent, 16.7 percent from beyond the arc and forced a staggering 27 turnovers. The Lakers will try to avoid going 0-4 for the first time since the 1957-58 squad dropped their first seven. That team was located in Minneapolis, but this LA version is struggling badly. The 2014-15 Lakers lost their third straight Friday night to the Los Angeles Clippers, 118-111. Jordan Hill paced the Lakers with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, Kobe Bryant had 21 points and seven assists and Jeremy Lin contributed 17 points and nine assists. Our effort was great, Lakers head coach Byron Scott said. In the second half, we made a couple of boneheaded mistakes. Both teams were playing aggressive. The Lakers took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter, but their Staples Center co-tenants dominated the final stanza, 32-21. During those last 12 minutes, Bryant couldnt put his side on his back. The future Hall of Famer shot 1-for-7 from the floor. Golden State won three of four against the Lakers last season and has won four of the last six overall. The Warriors have taken three consecutive home contests against LA, but the Lakers are 13-5 in their last 18 at Oracle Arena. Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey . Watch the announcement live on TSN.ca at 12:30pm et/9:30am pt. This years honourees will be recognized at the 2014 Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic, scheduled for June 23-24 in Vancouver. JK Scott Packers Jersey .NYCFC confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that this week Lampard signed a contract to start in July — midway through the new teams first season in MLS.LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Farmar scored 13 of his 20 points during a 3:17 span of the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers got double-digit scoring from three other reserves en route to a 108-94 preseason victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. The Lakers starting frontcourt of Pau Gasol, Nick Young and Shawne Williams had nine points each. Los Angeles (3-4) closed with an 11-0 run that included nine free throws, after Utahs Alec Burks cut the margin to 97-94 on a tip-in with 4:52 remaining. The Jazz (1-5), who were the only team in the league last season to finish with a winning record and miss the playoffs, had six players in double figures. Former Laker Brian Cook had 18 points, while Gordon Hayward added 15 and Burks 14. The Lakers, returning from a trip to China in which they lost two games to the Golden State Warriors, overcame an early 12-point deficit and led 51-45 at halftime with 14 points by reserve swingman Wesley Johnson. Derrick Favors, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft -- one spot aahead of Johnson -- missed five of his first six shots and finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds three days after signing a 4-year, $49 million contract extension with the Jazz. Marquez Valdes-Scantling Packers Jersey. . Forward Mike Harris, the second player off the Utah bench, picked up his fourth offensive foul and fifth of the game with 4:33 left in the third quarter. He played 12 scoreless minutes. Lakers centre Chris Kaman sat out the game after missing practice the previous two days because of gastrointestinal distress. Kobe Bryant continues to work himself back into playing shape following his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon in April and a troublesome right knee that took him to Germany recently for platelet-rich plasma treatment and acupuncture. There is no timetable for his return to the lineup. The Lakers close out their exhibition schedule Friday night against the Jazz at Anaheim before opening open the regular season next Tuesday against the Clippers. Utah hosts Oklahoma City in its opener next Wednesday. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
OTTAWA -- The Montreal Canadiens couldnt help but feel a sense of payback. Rui Patricio Jersey . The Canadiens have been seeking retribution against the Senators since last spring when Ottawa eliminated them in the opening round of the playoffs. Montreal finally got what it wanted on Friday night as they defeated the Senators 7-4, making Ottawas chance at returning to the post-season that much more difficult as the club sits seven points out of the final wild-card berth with just five games remaining. Max Pacioretty had a hat trick for the Canadiens. "This year we definitely felt like we owed them a little payback for last year in the playoffs and our games have been heated against them," said Pacioretty. "Its not just on the scoreboard that feels good its seeing guys step up and stand up for their teammates. I think thats one of the more rewarding feelings about the night." Andrei Markov, Mike Weaver, Lars Eller and David Desharnais also scored for Montreal (44-27-7) as Peter Budaj stopped 39 shots for his 10th win of the season. Zack Smith scored twice for the Senators (32-31-14) while Ales Hemsky and Mika Zibanejad had the others. Craig Anderson faced 22 shots. Ottawa jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the game was six minutes old, but then allowed the Canadiens to score seven straight times. "Its hard to pinpoint exactly what happened," said Smith. "We lost control of the game. We were up three goals and it didnt take them long to get those back and after that it was hard to get any traction. A couple of soft plays and turnovers and theyre in our net." Smith had few answers as to why or how the Senators could crash so badly, but admitted it wasnt pretty. "We say playing Montreal its an easy game to get up for," said Smith. "Thats embarrassing. Were up 3-0 and they score seven straight." Senators coach Paul MacLean was at a loss for words after the game. "Im numb," he said. "We came out and played and got the lead 3-0 and then we stopped playing. We stopped doing the things that made us successful." With already two on the night, Pacioretty completed his hat trick at 1:09 of the third and Desharnais made it 7-3 midway through the third beating Anderson up high. The Senators finally managed to put an end to the onslaught 14 minutes into the third as Zibanejad beat Budaj. Despite being outshot 15-4 in the second the Canadiens scored twice to take a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes. "Obviously you look at the shots and we got some favourable bounces and thats just the way it goes some nights," said Pacioretty. "It just shows our last two games against them youre never down and out." Montreal took its first lead of the game as Eller jumped on a rebound early in the second to make it 4-3. Ottawa appeared to tie it up on the ensuing play, but the goal was called back due to incidental contact on the goaltender. The call left the Senators extremely frustrated as they felt video review clearly showed there was no contact by an Ottawa player on the play. "It was a bad call, sorry, we disagreed with the call," said Smith. "He was adamant right from the start that there was contact and there wasnt even discussion. Usually when that happens theres discussion, but I have to watch what I say." Montreal made it 5-3 on Paciorettys second of the night as he took advantage of a Senators turnover and broke in alone to beat Anderson through the legs. The game was made that much more interesting after Erik Karlsson checked Brendan Gallagher hard into the boards and Alex Galchenyuk took offense, leading to Karlsson and Galchenyuk exchanging a couple punches. "All season, every time weve played them its been bizarre games," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. "I liked the way our team stood up for one another. We were down 3-0 and came back and we saw a lot of good things. We showed a lot of character." Trailing 3-0 the Canadiens got on the board as Markov scored off a bad angle down low on Montreals second shot of the game. Two minutes later Weavers point shot made it past a screened Anderson. The comeback was completed as Pacioretty got past Ottawas Eric Gryba on a bouncing puck and beat Anderson between the legs. "Its brutal," said MacLean. "Were at home and we stopped playing. Its not right." After giving up the early lead, Montreals P.K. Subban saw just 37 seconds of ice time in the first and didnt get another shift until the Canadiens went on the power play at the two-minute mark of the second. Ottawa opened the scoring at the two-minute mark of the first as Smith scored his first off his backhand. The Senators made it 2-0 just over two minutes later as Hemsky tipped Patrick Wierciochs point shot and it was 3-0 as Smith scored his second of the game off a great pass from Zibanejad. The Senators played the third without Hemsky, who left with an upper body injury. Ottawa next faces the Rangers Saturday night in New York, while the Canadiens return home to host the Detroit Red Wings. Notes: C Jason Spezza returned to the Senators lineup after missing the last two games. The Senators were without D Jared Cowen (lower body, day-to-day), LW Colin Greening (lower body, day-to-day) and RW Bobby Ryan (sports hernia, out for season). LW Matt Kassian was a healthy scratch. The Senators used the last of its call-ups as it did the paperwork to change Jean-Gabriel Pageaus call-up from emergency to regular recalla Montreal D Douglas Murray served the first of his three-game suspension. RW Rene Bourque and D Nathan Beaulieu were a healthy scratch. RW Dale Weise missed the game with an upper body injury. Bruno Fernandes Portugal Jersey . Make that, almost always subjective. Saturday at Carrow Road, the spirit of fair play trumped the rulebook, costing Norwich City three points. Bruno Fernandes Jersey . Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.Day in 100 words or less It was supposed to be a day without drama. A day the bookmakers told us would be rudimentary, seeing France and Germany breeze by Nigeria and Algeria respectively. We should have known better. France were average for 70 minutes and good for 20, scoring late to prevent Nigeria from moving on. Germany, on the other hand, were pathetic for 70 minutes, average for 20 and marginally better in the extra time they needed to see off Algeria. Germany 2-1 Algeria (AET) Germany are in Brazil to win the World Cup. They may be only three wins away but based on this display those victories are going to be very difficult to find. World Cup winners are allowed slow starts and mixed performances along the way, but Joachim Lows side have a lot of work to do between now and July 13. In the end they, just, deserved the win in Porto Alegre but Algeria played a huge part in an enthralling match. They also did a great job at targeting Germanys high defensive line. The problem for Germany was not the position of the line, but the amount of things they did wrong while playing with it. It was clear they didnt want playmakers dropping in between the lines and with Algeria playing deep, Germanys high line made sense. Except, the players didnt orchestrate the game-plan properly. The full-backs are supposed to drop deep to cover any attackers in behind but their positioning was poor. In front, the midfield of Germany did little to press Algeria into a mistake and far too often balls were easily played over the top, forcing Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng to regularly turn and face their own goal, an area many centre-backs are not comfortable with. Thankfully, they had Manuel Neuer in behind and he made an incredible amount of clearances outside of his box. Stats powered by Opta Germanys problems continued in possession. They head into the quarter-finals with too many of their key players either not fit or not playing well. This is a team that became obsessed with Spain after losing to them twice at Euro 2008 and at the last World Cup but at the moment they have a balance issue with their front six. Bastian Schweinsteiger, so crucial to their hopes, limped off in extra time and will desperately be needed in the quarter-final. Philipp Lahm is a fine midfielder but his value is much higher as a full-back. Forced into that change when Shkodran Mustafi was stretchered off, Lahm at full-back gives Germany an outlet his teammates trust in a wide area. It also unleashes Sami Khedira into midfield, a player, himself, who is not fully fit but who brings something completely different to the midfield with his penetration. Think Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso from 2010 - that is what Khedira and Schweinsteiger can be. A pair with great strength who can dictate the tempo and direction of a match. Germanys Xavi, Toni Kroos, is a fine player who can dictate the pace and tempo but demands calculated and intelligent movement in front of him. He is not a true playmaker who will beat two or three men and score an individual goal. This puts tremendous pressure on the front three. Again, thinking of Spain, these three are essential for success. Mario Gotze and Mesut Ozil are not natural wide players. They like to operate centrally in spaces between the lines but that makes Germany easy to defend against. Germany needed width, much like Spain did in 2010, and on came their Pedro, Andre Schurrle for Gotze. Ozil, however, was no Andres Iniesta. He is a defensive liability when an opponent is not in possession of the ball and when in possession he is not at his best on the left flank. Ozil likes to make quick movements, quick passes to feet, and out wide that requires full-backs to get forward, something this German team does very little of. Thomas Muller, one of the bright spots for Germany against Algeria, is a vital player for Lows system. However, the jurry is still out on what his best position is. Cedric Portugal Jersey. . Germany started with a false nine in this tournament, then went to Muller as the target man, but it was clear how valuable he is on the Schurrle goal, as his direct running into space and creativity set up the Chelsea man for a moment of brilliance on the goal. Their next opponents, France, may just be exactly what they need. France are a talented team but they have not been tested enough when forced to defend a lot, they tend to play slowly in possession and Germany should control possession and could do what Spain did to France two years ago at Euro 2012. That is easier said than done, however, and Germany will need to be far better to stay in Brazil. What they do have, though, is a cast of characters who are genuine world class stars. If any team can turn this around quickly it is this one. France 2-0 Nigeria There is a very thin line between success and failure at World Cups. The line is different for every team. Frances victory over Nigeria saw them jump over that line. Whatever happens from now on, this World Cup has become a success for a French team some thought wouldnt qualify after their loss in Ukraine last October. Against Nigeria they were far from perfect but their maturity came through. Under Didier Deschamps there is no room for complacency and France were a united front. For the second successive day, a European team grew stronger as the game wore on and a key tactical switch made the difference. Deschamps chose to play Karim Benzema with Olivier Giroud but Nigeria exploited this, creating overlaps out wide on the left where the Real Madrid man operated. This forced Blaise Matuidi to cover and help Patrice Evra, opening up spaces in midfield. During the second half Antoine Griezmann was introduced for Giroud and the balance of the side was much better. Benzema was not at his best but, importantly, France were able to pull through in a game where he didnt carry them. The goal came from a set-piece and the Nigerian goalie, Vincent Enyeama, who had been excellent, made one error in judgment and allowed Paul Pogba to nod home the winning goal into an empty net. Laurent Koscienly, a menace to defend at set plays throughout, played a huge part by attracting two defenders that the goalkeeper didnt trust to deal with the Arsenal man. It was a fitting goal for Pogba, who was the best player on the pitch. In all, many French players who have excelled at the highest level, the Champions League, performed very well like Mathieu Valbuena, Laurent Koscielny, Raphael Varane and Pogba. Nigeria go home with their heads held high with many of their players having had an excellent World Cup. Man of the Day Nominees Ahmed Musa – The Nigerian attacker has had a fantastic World Cup and his speed on the counter caused France a number of problems. Paul Pogba – The Juventus man had easily his best performance at the World Cup so far and scored the crucial goal. Andre Schurrle – Once again another substitute at this World Cup made a big impact on the game. Manuel Neuer – The German goalkeeper was sensational, often playing as an 11th outfield player, sweeping up behind his defence. Essaid Belkalem – The Algerian defence was brilliant, led by the 25-year-old Watford defender. The winner... Manuel Neuer – Arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world today had a monumental match when his country needed him the most. What comes next? Argentina vs Switzerland (12pm et/9am pt) and Belgium vs USA (4pm/1pm) Burning question for Tuesday Will Belgium start a game better than they have done so far in this World Cup or will they once again start slowly and allow the USA confidence to build? Key stat of Day 19 With 10 games remaining, we have now had 150 goals at this World Cup. 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