The Worlds Favourite Playground

Sunday, May 31st

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Germany advanced to the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a comfortable 1-0 victory against European rivals France.

The match was off to a flier with Mats Hummels heading home from close range after a near perfect free-kick from Toni Kroos. Though the foul was debatably a very soft one it nonetheless led Germany to the semi-finals where they will face either Columbia or the hosts Brazil.

The Germans were easily the better side in the first half with France struggling to make an impact. Les Bleus did have a spell in the second half where they threatened briefly, forcing Manuel Neuer into a couple of good saves, but never really threatened to get past a rather solid looking German defence.

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France have progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a hard earned 2-0 win against African champions Nigeria in a game that was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. The Nigerians held the French to a 0-0 scoreline until the 79th minute, and for large periods even looked the better side.

However, France broke the deadlock with a very calm header from Paul Pogba after Vincent Enyeama, who was otherwise brilliant, made a mistake by not getting a strong enough hand on a Mathieu Valbuena corner.

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The Qantas Wallabies have won the Castrol EDGE France Tour 3-0 and brought home the Trophée des Bicentenaries to Australia in front of a record 43 188 fans at Allianz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The crowd was the biggest Test Rugby crowd ever at Allianz stadium.

The win means the Wallabies have now won seven Test matches in a row, a feat not achieved by the Wallabies since 2000.

For his excellent performance, Wycliff Palu was named the Castrol EDGE Strongest Player.

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France showed the world that they are not a team to be taken lightly as they decimated Switzerland 5-2. Despite the Swiss being ranked higher in the FIFA rankings, there was no shadow of doubt as to which team was more accomplished in this display.

One of the key changes Didier Deschamps made coming into the game was to replace the mobile Antoine Griezmann with target man Olivier Giroud. It proved to be an inspired change as the Arsenal man headed in the opener from a corner early on in the first half. France doubled their lead within seconds as Valon Behrami gave away the ball cheaply to Karim Benzema, who laid it off to Blaise Matuidi to finish.

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The Australian U20s side has beaten France to claim Fifth Place honours at the IRB Junior World Championship in Auckland, following a second half comeback. Australia ran in five tries to France’s three to secure a 34-27 win over the Junior Six Nations Champions.

Eden Park played host to an afternoon of milestones, with Australian winger Andrew Kellaway scoring two tries in the game, taking his tally for the tournament to 10, the most any one player has scored in a single IRB Junior World Championship. Kellaway has now eclipsed the previous record of 8 set by former All Black, Zac Guildford and current New Zealand International, Julian Savea.

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Trouble in the French camp is as commonplace as danger in the jungle and Didier Deschamps is now facing the prospect of being the first manager not to take France to a World Cup in two decades. Les Blues’ waterloo moment came in the cold of Kiev where they succumbed to two late goals, a penalty and Laurent Koscielny’s sending off.

France rarely threatened their opponents from open play, depending on Fran Ribery’s set-pieces to break past the frugal Ukraine defence. The first blow arrived just after the hour mark when Roman Zozulya capped off a great team move with a patient finish from close range. The striker waited for his marker and Hugo Lloris to go to the ground before picking a spot in the bottom corner.

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Clement Grenier, wanted by a host of top flight Premier League clubs including Arsenal, is set to snub his admirers to spend one more season with his current club Olympique Lyonnais according to his father.

Grenier who debuted for France in their 1-0 loss to Uruguay last week is very highly regarded in Lyon and is central to their future plans. And his father, Michel, told TF1: "I think Clement will be at Lyon next season.”

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