England makes the perfect start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign

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England made the perfect start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign as two second-half strikes from Arsenal's £16m new boy Danny Welbeck gave them victory in Switzerland.

Manager Roy Hodgson needed his side to produce an encouraging performance and positive result after the misery of going out of the World Cup in Brazil at the group stage in the summer - and this did the job on both counts.

England on the right track - Hodgson

England were indebted to two vital saves by goalkeeper Joe Hart from Haris Seferovic and a vital goal-line clearance from Gary Cahill, but this victory was fully deserved and showed promising signs for the future.

Switzerland - ninth in Fifa's world rankings  in August after reaching the last 16 of the World Cup, with England 20th - posed a threat but ended up being well beaten.

The merits of Hodgson using the diamond formation, which suits Raheem Sterling perfectly, was shown as Liverpool's youngster set up former Manchester United star Welbeck's first goal just before the hour and was also involved as Anfield team-mate Rickie Lambert laid on the striker's second in stoppage time.

England's defence - Phil Jones in particular - still had moments of vulnerability but this meeting with Switzerland was regarded as the toughest assignment in the group with San Marino, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia to come. From that point of view, this was mission accomplished.

OTHER EURO QUALIFING CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

  • Switzerland 0 - 2 England FT
  • Luxembourg 1 - 1 Belarus FT
  • Spain 5 - 1 Macedonia FT
  • Ukraine 0 - 1 Slovakia FT
  • Estonia 1 - 0 Slovenia FT
  • San Marino 0 - 2 Lithuania FT
  • Russia 4 - 0 Liechtenstein FT
  • Austria 1 - 1 Sweden FT
  • Montenegro 2 - 0 Moldova FT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TENNIS.

 

 

 

Marin Cilic wins 2014 US Open and first Grand Slam title

Croatia's Marin Cilic won his first Grand Slam title with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Kei Nishikori of Japan at the US Open.

Cilic won 6-3 6-3 6-3 to become the first Croat to win one of the four tennis majors since his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, at Wimbledon in 2001.

The 14th seed dominated throughout on a cool, breezy day in New York, hitting 17 aces and dropping serve just once in one hour and 54 minutes.

His victory completes a Grand Slam year that has seen eight different winners of the singles titles across the men's and women's games, for the first time since 1998.

"I don't know how I did it. It was hard work over the last few years and especially this last year," said Cilic, who missed last year's US Open as he served a ban for taking a prohibited stimulant.

"My team has brought something to me, especially Goran.

"We're all working really hard but the most important thing he brought to me was enjoying tennis, and always having fun. I think I played the best tennis of my life."

 

This time last year Marin Cilic was holed up in Croatia, serving the last few months of his doping ban and adding a few more revs to his serve. The burning sense of injustice he still feels has driven him to an achievement which had appeared beyond him: he played so calmly and consistently for most of the match - as if the trophy was his destiny.

 

"Coach Goran Ivanisevic has also played a major part: adding more shots to his repertoire and inflating his self belief. The faster courts at the US Open played to his strengths, and he will enjoy Australia too .. when the Grand Slam year restarts."

Nishikori, coached by former French Open champion Michael Chang, had a much more punishing route to the final, taking more than 11 hours to get past fifth seed Milos Raonic, third seed Stan Wawrinka and world number one Novak Djokovic.


Source: BBC Sports.

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