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Team Germany edges the United States

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For the first time in their history, Team Germany has beaten an American national squad as they defeated the USA, represented by the United States Federation of American Football, 14-13 at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, in a game which should not have been that close.

The USFAF team, which almost did not make it to the World Games, was put together, literally within a couple of days.

With barely one practice under their belts and a roster which was below the minimum 45, a rag tag United States team took the field to face a well-prepared German team  in the middle of the regular season in Germany.

And it showed as Team Germany controlled much of the play. Nevertheless, Team USA battled.

After a quiet first quarter, in which Germany missed a chance to take the lead on a missed field goal, Team Germany opened the scoring. Quarterback Alexander Haupert connected with 6’9″ wide receiver Aurieus Adegbesan on a 43 yard touchdown pass and Thomas Rauch kicked the extra point to give the Germans a 7-0 lead.

The United States responded on the next series with quarterback Dustin Hawke Willingham, who was struggling to find any kind of rhythm, finally finding Terry Gaitor for a 47 yard touchdown. John Moorhead kicked the extra point and the score was tied at halftime.

The Americans entered the third quarter with some momentum and began to take charge as Hawke Willingham led his team on a long drive, capping it with a 26 yard touchdown to Tyrell Banks giving Team USA a 13-7 lead. The missed extra point proved to be crucial.

With Haupert replaced at quarterback by Sonny Weishaupt, Germany began to take control in the fourth quarter. Weishaupt finally led his team on an extended drive, finishing it off with a 28 yard touchdown pass to Kwame Ofori. Thomas Rauch kicked the extra point to take a 14-13 lead.

Team Germany then held on for the win.

Turnovers proved to be costly for Team USA as the American quarterback threw four interceptions.

This was not the first time a USFAF team has lost to European competition. In 2012, Team Denmark defeated them 49-20.

In the second semifinal, Team France defeated Poland 28-2. Germany will face France in the gold medal final on Monday, July 24 while Team USA will play Poland in the bronze medal game.

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Inter Milan Must Sweat To Show We Are Contenders, Says Conte

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Inter Milan head coach, Antonio Conte, warned against complacency and urged his players to show they are credible Serie A title contenders ahead of Sunday’s home clash with relegation battlers Crotone.

Conte’s team, who finished as runners-up last season, cut the gap to league leaders AC Milan to just one point before the 10-day winter break, thanks to a run of seven straight league wins.

That form has put Inter firmly in the mix to end their 11-year wait for a league title, with defending champions Juventus languishing nine points behind them in sixth.

“We must confirm our place among the contenders,” Conte told a news conference.

“We don’t have to send any message, just be credible. We have the duty to fight until the end. When you’re at Inter, this is an obligation.

“It’s a balanced championship. You need to sweat to win every match and there are no easy games.

“In the end important values like hard work and organisation will stand out, things that make you excel and win.”

Inter are favourites to come out on top against Crotone, who are in 19th place having won just twice since being promoted from Serie B.

However, one of those victories came in Crotone’s last match before the break and Conte insisted he will not be underestimating the threat of the visitors.

“We’re expecting a demanding match, as I think they all are in Serie A,” he said.

“We’re facing a team that has been galvanised by finishing last year with a win against Parma.

“This match will require a lot of focus. Starting again after the holidays is always a great unknown, but we know the importance of continuing our positive streak.”

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Pirlo Warns Juventus Players Never To Repeat Fiorentina Display

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Juventus coach, Andrea Pirlo, has warned his players not to repeat the poor performance they produced during their shock 3-0 defeat against struggling Fiorentina in their last match before Serie A headed into its Christmas break.

The Italian champions, who face Udinese on Sunday, slumped to their first league defeat of the season against Fiorentina.

The result left Pirlo’s side 10 points adrift of league leaders AC Milan, albeit with a game in hand, putting their nine-year stranglehold of the Italian title at risk.

“We talked about the game against Fiorentina, we got it completely wrong,” the 41-year-old, who is in his first season as a manager, said.

“It was a good meeting and we discussed our future objectives. It was productive.

“I don’t want to see any more matches like the one with Fiorentina.

“We’ve otherwise made some progress and improved in many aspects, but I’m convinced it can be even better.”

Udinese also headed into the winter break following a 2-0 defeat to Benevento but Luca Gotti’s side were unbeaten in six league matches before then.

Hence Pirlo is not taking the challenge lightly.

“I’m expecting a difficult match, Udinese are on a good run of form and are a very well organised and physical team with players who are very good on the counter attack,” he said.

“The team is eager to redeem itself after the last defeat. We’ve got almost all our players back, so we’re setting out to restart the league season strongly.”

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Kane, Son Doing ‘Special Things’ – Mourinho

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Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are doing “special things” for Tottenham Hotspur this season, manager Jose Mourinho said.

This was following the dynamic duo both scoring in a 3-0 win over Leeds United that lifted Spurs to third in the Premier League on Saturday.

Kane gave his side the lead from the penalty spot — his 10th league goal of the season — then combined with Son who doubled Tottenham’s tally just before halftime.

It was Son’s 100th goal for Tottenham and the 13th time this season that the pair had combined for a league goal, equalling the whole season record set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95.

“I think in the Premier League there are many good players everywhere even in clubs where you don’t believe they can have great players,” Mourinho said.

“But I have to say that Sonny and Harry are doing special things this season.

“They are very good players as you know for many years.

“I want more goals, especially from other players but today the second goal is great, is also great because it was something we spoke about against a team that defends the way Leeds does.”

While the scoreline rather flattered Tottenham against a Leeds side who enjoyed 64% possession, it snapped a four-game winless sequence in the Premier League and sent Mourinho’s side back into the top four of the table.

They are in third spot with 29 points from 16 games, four behind joint-leaders Liverpool and Manchester United.

“Of course the result is important.

”We didn’t play the last match and the run of results in the least few weeks was not good so we needed these three points so we go up a little bit in the table,” Mourinho said.

Tottenham’s game in midweek was postponed after Fulham players tested positive for COVID-19.

This is a decision that Mourinho still find puzzling on the day that three of his own players were condemned for breaking the rules to attend a party.

“I go back to the initial rules of if you have 14 players available you have to play,” Mourinho said.

“I don’t see another reason for not doing it. I think every club does the best for their players to keep them all safe but then there are moments in private lives which you cannot control.

“Not everyone can be blamed so we have to carry on. If somebody has some positives, we have to play.”

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