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France beats Germany 2-0 to reach Euro 2016 final

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PARIS — France has beaten Germany 2-0 in their Euro 2016 semi-final thanks to two goals from Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann drove in a penalty at the end of the first half after a needless handball by German captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and poked home in the 72nd minute following a blunder by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to set up a final against Portugal in Paris on Monday morning (AEST).

France will now face Portugal in the finalon Sunday in Paris.

“We are as happy as kids, the whole country is behind us,” Griezmann said.

World champion Germany dominated the match in terms of possession but its lack of a deadly finisher cost it and razor-sharp Griezmann, whose double took his tournament-leading tally to six, was the difference.

It was the first time France had beaten Germany in a competitive match since the 1958 World Cup, including defeats in the semi-finals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and the quarter-finals two years ago.

The hosts will go into the final as strong favourites to emulate the teams of 1984 and 1998, who won the European and world titles on home soil.

Germany will wonder how it failed to score in a game it controlled for long periods but, after Jerome Boateng’s handball gave Italy a lifeline in the quarter-finals, its captain’s similarly inexplicable high hand swung the game France’s way when they most needed it.

France, roared on in a fantastic atmosphere, had torn forward in the opening exchanges and looked full of adventure.

However, Germany calmly and methodically took control, totally swamping the midfield and with its full-backs hugging the touchlines, constantly probing.

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Despite the overwhelming dominance of possession, however, clear chances were few and far between, with Hugo Lloris saving comfortably from Emre Can and Thomas Mueller and Schweinsteiger off target when well-placed.

Reuters

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ICC WCL Div II: Nepal suffer 7 runs defeat

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KATHMANDU — Nepal suffered a seven runs defeat at the hands of UAE in the final of the ICC World Cricket League Division II at Windhoek, Namibia, on Thursday.

After being runner-up of the tournament, Nepal are now seeded in Group B along with the hosts Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Scotland and Hong Kong for the ICC World Cup Qualifier tournament to be held in Zimbabwe on March.

With the conclusion of the tournament, Nepal are also promoted to ICC World Cricket League Division I.

Chasing the target of 277 runs, Nepal could muster only 270 runs with the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 50 overs.

Skipper Paras Khadka struck unbeaten 112 runs in 103 balls cracking eight sixes and three boundaries while Dipendra Singh Aire scored 35 off 66 balls including two sixes. Khadka and Aire scored 69 runs partnership for Nepal.

Similarly, Gyanendra Malla contributed 24 off 25 balls including one four while Dilip Nath made 13 off 29 balls smashing two boundaries. Sharad Veswakar was sent back to pavilion with 30 off 37 balls including three boundaries while Arif Sheikh scored seven runs off 11 balls with two fours.

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Rohit Kumar Paudel contributed 23 off 17 balls including four boundaries on the board. Karan KC, who was the hero of the match against Canada, Sompal Kami and Basanta Regmi failed to make double digit score.

Imran Haider took two Nepali scalps while Rohan Mustafa and Ahmed Raza chipped in with a wicket each.

After winning the toss, UAE elected to bat first and amassed a challenging total of 277/4 runs for Nepal to chase.

Opener Ashfaq Ahmed hit a century and his opening partner Rohan Mustafa also got a half-century as UAE piled up runs against the Nepali bowling attack.

Ahmed hit three sixes and 10 boundaries for his 123-ball 114 while Mustafa scored 51 from 74 balls as the pair added 109 runs for the first wicket. Shaiman Anwar (40) and Rameez Shahzad (41) also added late on to compile a massive total.

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Sompal Kami, Sandip Lamichhane and Basanta Regmi took a wicket each for Nepal.

Rameez Shahzad remained not out on 41 off 46 balls with one four and one six. Shiman Anwar hit brisk 40 off 24 balls with two fours and three sixes.

Sandeep Lamichanne, Basanta Regmi and Sompal Kami chipped in a wicket each.

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