Pirate Irwin

Gunners, United prevail in Europe

English Premiership giants Arsenal and Manchester United enjoyed a successful night in their first group matches of the Champions League this season on Wednesday. Arsenal, last season's beaten finalists, got a much needed morale-boosting victory ahead of Sunday's clash with United, beating German outfit Hamburg 2-1 away.

Spanish teams flex muscles in Europe

Spanish duo, titleholders Barcelona, and Valencia swept to victory in their opening Champions League salvoes on Tuesday. Barca blew away Levski Sofia 5-0 in a torrential downpour while Valencia recorded an impressive 4-2 away victory at Olympiakos with the rejuvenated Fernando Morientes scoring a hat-trick.

A good day for France and Switzerland

Switzerland and France rounded off the last 16 in the World Cup finals in Germany on Friday as they recorded 2-0 victories over South Korea and Togo respectively. The Swiss will play Ukraine, while the French face a tough battle with in-form Spain for a place in the last eight.

Tough day at the office for African teams

Spain joined the happy band of qualifiers for the second round of the World Cup on Monday but were made to work hard for their 3-1 victory over 2004 African Nations Cup champions Tunisia. It was a tough day at the office for Africa as the joy of Ghana's win over the Czech Republic evaporated as Switzerland beat Togo 2-0.

Arsenal, Barcelona through to the semifinals

Arsenal progressed serenely into the Champions League semifinals for the first time in their history on Wednesday with a thoroughly professional performance against Italian giants Juventus. The Gunners drew 0-0 -- winning 2-0 on aggregate -- against a less-than-inspired Juventus outfit, whose appalling disciplinary record in the quarterfinal saw a third player sent off in Pavel Nedved.

France humble desperate England

France outclassed world champions England in Paris on Sunday to win their Six Nations clash 31-6 on the 100th anniversary of their first meeting in the tournament and inflict the worst defeat on the visitors between the sides in 34 years.

Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire in final stretch

Hosts Egypt are just one win away from a record fifth African Nations Cup title after they beat Senegal 2-1 in a riveting semifinal in Cairo on Tuesday. The Pharaohs will meet fellow group-A outfit Côte d'Ivoire -- whom they beat 3-1 in the first round -- in Friday's showpiece after the Elephants edged Nigeria 1-0 earlier in the day.

Egypt, Senegal advance

Egypt kept home interest alive in the African Nations Cup in Cairo on Friday as they beat Democratic Republic of Congo 4-1 to ease into the semifinals and a step nearer a record fifth title. To reach the final they will have to get past 2002 finalists Senegal, who edged previously unbeaten Guinea 3-2 to make it a dreadful night for French coaches, DRC's Claude Le Roy and Guinea's Patrice Neveu.

It’s murder in Group of Death

The so-called Group of Death at the African Nations Cup lived up to its billing on Tuesday as both matches went down to the wire. In the end, Nigeria finished top of group D after coming from behind to beat Senegal 2-1, while Zimbabwe deservedly beat Ghana 2-1 but still finished out of the money.

Tunisia trounced in Egypt

Monday was not a night for champions as reigning African Nations Cup holders Tunisia were trounced 3-0 by Guinea and ended up second in group C. At least they still have an interest in the tournament, whereas 1996 champions South Africa reached new depths as they were beaten 1-0 by Zambia.

Sibusiso Zuma: ‘This is a team for the future’

Champions Tunisia on Thursday stayed on course to become only the second team to retain the African Nations Cup since it was extended to 16 sides as they beat a sorry South Africa 2-0 in their Group C clash. Defeat ended Bafana Bafana's interest in the competition and confirmed their sharp decline since winning the title in 1996.

Cameroon cruise into Egypt quarterfinals

Cameroon joined Côte d'Ivoire in the African Nations Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday as they beat sorry Togo 2-0 and looked a good bet to add a fourth title to their laurels. Angola just about kept an interest in the tournament, but only by their fingernails, as they fought out a 0-0 draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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