Pirate Irwin

Bitter rivals set for Afcon showdown

Hosts Egypt go up against bitter rivals Morocco in Cairo on Tuesday in what should be one of the highlights of the African Nations Cup. The Group A clash will more than likely see Morocco exit the tournament should they lose and victory for Egypt would see the hosts through to the quarterfinals.

All gold for All Blacks

Everything the All Blacks touch seems to turn to gold. That's the opinion of Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and the embattled handler is not far wrong. Aside from coming from behind to land the right to host the 2011 World Cup, New Zealand finish the year with the British Isles Grand Slam, a 3-0 series win over the British and Irish Lions and the Tri-Nations trophy.

Raul racks up 50 in Champions League

Raul became the first player to rack up 50 goals in the Champions League as the Real Madrid star helped his side to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Greek side Olympiakos in their match on Wednesday. Liverpool were held 0-0 at home to Chelsea, whom they controversially beat in the semifinal last term.

Russia strike back at world athletics meet

If Thursday was the United States's day, then Friday was definitely Russia's, as led by extraordinary pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva they won three titles at the World Athletics Championships. The 23-year-old broke her own world record for the ninth time this year -- vaulting 5,01m.

Rookie Madison clinches long-jump gold

United States teenager Tianna Madison stunned her more experienced rivals by taking the women's long-jump title at the world athletics championships in Finland on Wednesday. The 19-year-old jumped 6,89m in her first major championships to beat Olympic bronze medallist Tatyana Kotova of Russia (6,79m) while defending champion Eunice Barber of France took the bronze (6,76m).

From tragedy to glory

Kenenisa Bekele and Lauryn Williams, two athletes who have confronted personal tragedies in their lives, raced to world title glory at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki on Monday. Bekele's fiancée died earlier this year and Williams won despite her father's long-running battle with leukaemia.

Man United Champions League dream ends

A controversial header late in the second half by Chelsea captain John Terry gave the Premiership leaders a remarkable 4-2 win over Barcelona in their Champions League first knockout-round clash on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the dream of Sir Alex Ferguson to give Manchester United a second Champions League title under his stewardship ended -- perhaps for good.

Barcelona beat Chelsea after Drogba sent off

The controversial sending-off of Chelsea striker Didier Drogba saw Barcelona come back from 1-0 down to beat the English Premiership leaders 2-1 in their Champions League first knockout round first-leg clash on Wednesday. Chelsea's defeat was somewhat softened by the fact they have an away goal, whereas Manchester United lost 1-0 to AC Milan at Old Trafford.

Bittersweet night for Abramovich

Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich suffered two rare defeats on the football pitch on Tuesday as reigning champions FC Porto downed his Chelsea side 2-1 to ensure they avoided the ignominy of becoming the first titleholders to exit in the first round. Benni McCarthy's late goal for Porto also denied the Russian a second interest in the knockout phase.

Mixed emotions in Champions League

A missile-throwing incident at the AS Roma-Dynamo Kiev match overshadowed Bayer Leverkusen's outstanding 3-0 victory on Wednesday over Spanish giants Real Madrid. Liverpool eased past last season's Champions League finalists Monaco 2-0 and Manchester United were outclassed but came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Lyon.

Beckham set to come out fighting

Real Madrid will try to revive memories of their last glorious moment on the Champions League stage when they face German side Bayer Leverkusen away in their first match of this season's tournament on Wednesday. David Beckham will be looking to build on his fine free kick in the 1-0 victory over Numancia on Saturday.

Mehrtens’ call to arms

All Blacks scoring machine Andrew Mehrtens said on Wednesday he hoped France would be at the receiving end of a similar performance from New Zealand in Saturday's one-off test as they produced on Armistice Day in 2000.

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