Australia, Cameroon hopes hit after 1-1 draw

ST PETERSBURG, Russia Australia fought back to draw 1-1 with Cameroon in the Confederations Cup on Thursday, a result that further dents both countries’ hopes of progressing in the eight-team tournament in Russia.

Andre Franck Zambo Anguissa put Cameroon ahead with the last touch of the first half, but a Mark Milligan penalty on the hour mark ensured a first point for both in Group B.

Australia play Chile in Moscow on Sunday and Cameroon face Germany at the same time in Sochi in their final group games.

Doping - IPC VP says Russia has until September to conform

LONDON Russia has until September to prove it has made the necessary reforms to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) presidential candidate Andrew Parsons said on Thursday.

Brazilian Parsons, an IPC vice president who unveiled his election manifesto and is the fourth presidential candidate to succeed Philip Craven in the September election, said Russia still had work to do.

U.S. banks look to rebuild European football from the ground up

By Anjuli Davies and Steve Slater
| LONDON

LONDON (Reuters/IFR) - U.S. banks that have carved out a lucrative niche financing the construction and renovation of sports stadia are making a push into Europe, signing a major deal with English Premier League soccer club Tottenham Hotspur last month.

Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) dominate the sector, using stock and bond issues, the sale of naming rights, and securitisations of future ticket and TV revenues to fund improvements in infrastructure.

Giorgi upsets Svitolina at Birmingham

Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi pulled off a surprise three-set win over number two seed Elina Svitolina on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Classic.

Giorgi won six of the last seven games as she triumphed 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 over the Ukrainian.

The 25-year-old will face Australian Ashleigh Barty in the last eight at the Edgbaston Priory Club.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza also moved into the quarter-finals, enjoying a 6-1 6-4 win over American Alison Riske.

Boks aim to keep feel-good factor going against France

By Nick Said
| JOHANNESBURG

JOHANNESBURG South Africa will seek to maintain the feel-good factor that has returned to their rugby in the third test against France on Saturday, knowing that tougher challenges lie ahead this season.

History beckons for the team with a win at Ellis Park, where they have lost all four previous tests against the touring French but can now sweep a three-match series against their European opponents for the first time.

Dreyer gets debut as Boks test out tightheads

JOHANNESBURG South Africa have handed prop Ruan Dreyer a first cap after including him among four changes in the team to face France in the third and final test at Ellis Park on Saturday, coach Allister Coetzee announced on Thursday.

Jesse Kriel returns at centre after sitting out the second test because of concussion and Francois Hougaard and Jean-Luc du Preez come in as injury replacements as the Springboks seek a whitewash of the series.

Cycling - Sky name formidable line-up to support Froome on Tour

LONDON Chris Froome will have the benefit of a formidable Team Sky support crew as the Briton seeks a fourth Tour de France victory next month.

The British outfit confirmed its rider lineup on Thursday for the race, which starts in Dusseldorf on July 1, with specialist climbers Michel Landa and Mikel Nieve from Spain and Colombia's Sergio Henao all included.

Cilic marches past Kozlov into Queen's quarter-finals

By Martyn Herman
| LONDON

LONDON Fourth seed Marin Cilic overpowered American teenager Stefan Kozlov 6-0 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Championships on the Queen's Club grass on Thursday.

Croatian Cilic, winner of the prestigious Wimbledon warm-up event in 2012, romped through the first set in 24 minutes but was given more of a workout in the second.

Kozlov, 19, showed some tidy grasscourt skills of his own but never hinted at breaking the Cilic serve, which offered up only seven points to the American during the 65-minute contest.

Bottas predicts a 'mess' in challenging Azerbaijan Grand Prix

BAKU Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is expecting Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix to produce more drama than last year, when Nico Rosberg cruised to victory from pole position, and says drivers will not be put off by the track's reputation.

Last year, despite driver complaints about the safety of the Baku circuit, 18 of 22 cars finished the challenging anti-clockwise track, which runs along the shores of the Caspian Sea and around the walls of the medieval old town.

"We got kind of lucky," Bottas told a news conference on Thursday. "There was not much action.

Klopp sends message of support to son of Joost vd Westhuizen

CAPE TOWN Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp left the son of South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen "speechless" after responding to a heart-felt letter written by the boy following his father’s death from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in February.

Klopp sent 13-year-old Jordan van der Westhuizen, like his father an ardent Liverpool fan, a team jersey signed by the squad and a message in which he praised the youngster’s courage in the face of personal tragedy.

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