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HOMEALL POSTSFOOTBALL: FRANCE PASS TEST TO CLINCH WORLD CUP SPOT Football: France pass test to clinch World Cup spot

France clinched qualification for the World Cup thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in a hard-fought 2-1 win over Belarus on Tuesday. Didier Deschamps s side successfully completed their tricky challenge of beating Bulgaria and Belarus in their final two qualifiers. The victory meant they avoided the tension of the playoffs that they had to endure to …

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Football: Ronaldo, Portugal lock down World Cup berth

Cristiano Ronaldo s Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month s play-offs. An own goal from Johan Djourou handed the European champions the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as Portugal finished top of Group B …

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Football: Messi hat-trick fires Argentina into World Cup

Lionel Messi scored a brilliant hat-trick as Argentina sealed their place at the 2018 World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Ecuador here Tuesday. Barcelona superstar Messi single-handedly rescued Argentina s World Cup hopes as the South American giants came from behind to win in Quito. Romario Ibarra had given Ecuador a shock lead after only 38 seconds but Messi …

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FIFA suspends Pakistan Football Federation over ‘third party interference’

– FIFA has decided to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council dated 10 October 2017 on account of undue third-party interference. “The Bureau took this decision as a result of the fact that the PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed …

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Pakistan face Bangladesh in Asia hockey Cup opener today

– Pakistan are all set to launch their campaign in the 10th Men’s hockey Asia Cup by taking on hosts Bangladesh today (Wednesday) at Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka. On the opening day, all the four teams of pool A will be in action. In the first match, India would face Japan while the second game would feature hosts …

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Tennis: Aussie Open ‘top of Serena’s mind’, says boss

Australian Open organisers said they were hopeful of a stunning return by new mum Serena Williams in January as they raised the winners’ prize money to a bumper Aus$4 million (US$3.1 million) on Tuesday. Injured former world number ones Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, along with Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka, are set to be back in action in time …

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Tennis: Federer thrilled with 2017 rebound

Roger Federer said Monday he is pinching himself over a resurgent season that has added two more Grand Slams to the Swiss great s trophy case and put 100 career singles titles within reach. Following an injury-plagued 2016 in which he failed to lift any hardware, Federer has thrived on a reduced schedule aimed at easing the strain on his …

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Football: Candreva ensures Italy seeded in play-offs

– Antonio Candreva lifted Italy to a 1-0 win over Albania in their final World Cup qualifying game on Monday that assures the Azzurri are top seeds for November s play-offs. Gian Piero Ventura s side were already through to next month s play-offs, but desperately needed a win in Shkoder to be guaranteed the status of top seeds in …

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Football: More history for Iceland, Serbia clinch World Cup spot

Iceland qualified for the World Cup for the first time after beating Kosovo 2-0 on Monday, while Serbia clinched a spot at next year s finals with a 1-0 win over Georgia. Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Gudmundsson scored in Reykjavik as Iceland, with a population of just 330,000, became the smallest country to advance to the World Cup …

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Football: Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar lead Ballon d’Or nominees

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar headline an impressive 30-man shortlist unveiled on Monday for the 2017 Ballon d Or world footballer of the year award. Portugal superstar Ronaldo is attempting to match Lionel Messi s record by winning the prize for a fifth time after his starring role in Real Madrid s first La Liga and Champions League double …

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