Dortmund Fight Back to Beat Atletico, Reach Champions League Semis

Dortmund Fight Back to Beat Atletico, Reach Champions League Semis

Borussia Dortmund staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Atletico Madrid 4-2 in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, securing a 5-4 aggregate victory and a first semi-final appearance since 2013.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Dortmund started brightly and took the lead in the 34th minute through Julian Brandt, who collected a Mats Hummels chip and fired past Jan Oblak. Just five minutes later, Ian Maatsen doubled the advantage, threading in from an acute angle after being given space to run in the Atletico box.

However, Atletico coach Diego Simeone made three changes at half-time, including bringing on Angel Correa, and his energy told immediately. Hummels conceded a poor own goal before Correa netted to put Atletico back ahead in the tie.

Those goals seemed to jolt Dortmund back to life, and they scored twice in three minutes to retake the overall lead. Niclas Fuellkrug headed in a Marcel Sabitzer cross, and the Austrian midfielder then got a goal of his own, shooting through the Atletico defense and into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Dortmund held on for a famous victory, sending them through to the semi-finals where they will face Paris Saint-Germain.

Djokovic Avenges Musetti Loss, Reaches Monte-Carlo Quarterfinals

Djokovic Avenges Musetti Loss, Reaches Monte-Carlo Quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic exacted revenge on Lorenzo Musetti, the young Italian who stunned him last year, with a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters quarterfinals.

Musetti, now 22, had upset an out-of-form Djokovic in 2023, but the 24-time Grand Slam champion was in far better shape this time around. Djokovic rallied from a break down in the first set and never looked back, advancing in just under two hours.

Djokovic, who had declared himself “not scared of anything or anybody” ahead of the rematch, showed no signs of rust after sitting out the Miami Open. He had demolished Roman Safiullin in his first match in Monte Carlo and was eager to prove that last year’s early exit was an aberration.

Musetti, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 15 last June, opened the match with a break of serve and threatened to take a 4-1 double-break lead. However, Djokovic held on and charged back, leveling the set and ultimately winning seven of the next eight games.

Musetti managed to break back and get on the board, but Djokovic kept pressing and broke serve again to move within two games of victory. Musetti saved break points to avoid a double-break deficit and pulled off some audacious shotmaking to get the set back on serve.

Undeterred, Djokovic regained his lead and served for the match. With three match points in hand, he only needed one as Musetti erred long off the forehand.

Up next for Djokovic is No. 11 seed Alex de Minaur, who defeated fellow Aussie Alexei Popyrin in straight sets. De Minaur has been one of the most consistent players of 2024 and will pose a significant challenge to Djokovic.

Grigor Dimitrov Completes Career Set of Masters 1000 Quarterfinals with Miami Breakthrough

Grigor Dimitrov Completes Career Set of Masters 1000 Quarterfinals with Miami Breakthrough

Grigor Dimitrov has achieved a significant milestone in his career by reaching the quarterfinals of the Miami Open for the first time in 13 attempts. The Bulgarian star overcame a spirited challenge from Hubert Hurkacz in a thrilling three-set encounter, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Dimitrov’s victory not only marks his maiden quarterfinal appearance in Miami but also completes his career set of Masters 1000 quarterfinals. He has now reached the last eight at all nine Masters 1000 tournaments, a testament to his consistency and ability to perform at the highest level.

The 31-year-old has enjoyed a successful career, highlighted by his triumph at the 2017 Cincinnati Masters. He has also reached the semifinals of the Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Rome, Canada, and Shanghai Masters, as well as the final of the Paris Masters in 2023.

Dimitrov’s impressive run in Miami has been characterized by his resilience and determination. After dropping the first set to Hurkacz, he fought back to level the match and eventually prevailed in a tense third-set tiebreaker.

The Bulgarian’s victory is a significant achievement, as he continues to prove his status as a top contender on the ATP Tour. With his career set of Masters 1000 quarterfinals now complete, Dimitrov will be eager to add to his impressive resume and challenge for more titles in the future.

Atletico Madrid Reach Champions League Quarterfinals After Penalty Shootout Win Over Inter Milan

Atletico Madrid Reach Champions League Quarterfinals After Penalty Shootout Win Over Inter Milan

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid overcame a 1-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Inter Milan 3-2 on penalties and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals. The match at the Metropolitano Stadium was a tense affair, with both teams creating chances throughout.

Inter took the lead in the 33rd minute through Federico Dimarco, but Atletico equalized just two minutes later with Antoine Griezmann’s goal. The match remained level until the 87th minute, when Memphis Depay scored a dramatic winner for Atletico.

In the penalty shootout, Jan Oblak saved two penalties, while Lautaro Martínez missed the final kick for Inter. Memphis Depay, Rodrigo Riquelme, and Ángel Correa converted their penalties for Atletico, while Hakan Calhanoglu and Francesco Acerbi scored for Inter.

Simeone was visibly emotional after the victory, shedding tears as he watched the Atletico fans celebrate. “It was moving,” he said. “I’m happy for the players and for the fans. We are among the best eight teams in Europe again. That tells a lot about this club.”

Oblak was the hero for Atletico, making two crucial saves in the penalty shootout. “In the end it’s a bit about luck in the shootout,” he said. “Because you have to choose the correct side and you have to make the stop. If the player takes the kick perfectly, it’s impossible to stop it. Gladly, I was able to make the saves. What matters is the victory and that we made it to the quarterfinals.”

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi was disappointed with the result but praised his team’s performance. “We must be proud of what we did in this Champions League,” he said. “In the second half we should have done better. In extra time we had more energy but unfortunately we made too many mistakes.”

The eight teams in the draw for the quarterfinals are Atletico, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Barcelona.

Barcelona Return to Champions League Quarterfinals with Napoli Triumph

Barcelona Return to Champions League Quarterfinals with Napoli Triumph

Barcelona’s Champions League resurgence continued on Tuesday as they secured a 3-1 victory over Napoli at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 4-2 aggregate score.

The Catalan giants, who had been eliminated in the group stage for the past two years, took an early lead through Fermín López’s 15th-minute strike. João Cancelo doubled their advantage just two minutes later, capitalizing on a rebound from Raphinha’s shot.

Napoli responded with a goal from Amir Rrahmani in the 30th minute, but Barcelona regained control in the second half. Robert Lewandowski sealed the win in the 83rd minute, tapping in a cross from substitute Sergi Roberto.

The victory marks Barcelona’s first Champions League quarterfinal appearance since 2019-20 and provides a much-needed boost to their season. The club has struggled domestically, being eliminated from the Copa del Rey and trailing Real Madrid by seven points in La Liga.

Coach Xavi Hernández praised his team’s performance, saying, “We have been criticized unfairly, and today we showed that this team is prepared to compete in Europe. We are among the best eight teams in Europe. We have to enjoy it.”

Barcelona’s victory also has financial implications, as the club has been facing financial difficulties in recent years. The extra income from reaching the quarterfinals will provide a much-needed boost.

The Catalan club has now extended its unbeaten streak against Napoli to six matches in all competitions. They will face a tough test in the quarterfinals, but their recent form suggests they are capable of challenging for the title.

CAG and Tata Sports Club Triumph in DY Patil T20 Cup Quarter-Finals

CAG and Tata Sports Club Triumph in DY Patil T20 Cup Quarter-Finals

DY Patil T20 Cup: CAG and Tata Sports Club Advance to Semi-Finals

The 18th DY Patil T20 Cup witnessed thrilling quarter-final matches on Thursday, with CAG and Tata Sports Club emerging victorious.

DY Patil Stadium:

At the DY Patil Stadium, DY Patil Blue faced CAG in a closely contested encounter. Blue’s innings was anchored by Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 99 off 51 deliveries, including eight boundaries and six sixes. However, CAG’s bowlers kept the pressure on, with Sanveer Singh and Writwick Chatterjee claiming two wickets each.

Blue finished on 182 for six, but CAG’s chase was led by Varun Lavande’s 73 off 53 balls. Sanveer Singh’s unbeaten 45 off 27 balls sealed the victory for CAG, who reached 185 for four in 19.1 overs.

DY Patil University Ground:

Meanwhile, at the DY Patil University Ground, Tata Sports Club dominated Indian Oil. Sufiyan Shaikh and Chinmay Sutar put on a 107-run partnership for the second wicket, with Shaikh scoring 64 off 36 balls and Sutar contributing 61 off 39 balls.

Tata posted a formidable 232 for five in their 20 overs, with Rohan Raje being the only Indian Oil bowler to impress with figures of 2-38.

In response, Indian Oil struggled to keep up with the required run rate, losing wickets at regular intervals. Shorabh Phaliwal was the standout bowler for Tata, claiming three wickets for 15 runs. Indian Oil was eventually bowled out for 172 in 19.4 overs, handing Tata a convincing 60-run victory.

Manchester City Advance to Champions League Quarterfinals with 3-1 Win over Copenhagen

Manchester City Advance to Champions League Quarterfinals with 3-1 Win over Copenhagen

Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of Champions League glory continues as they secured a 3-1 victory over Copenhagen on Wednesday, advancing to the quarterfinals with a commanding 6-2 aggregate scoreline. The triumph marks the seventh consecutive season that Pep Guardiola’s team has reached the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition.

Manuel Akanji opened the scoring for City within five minutes, capitalizing on a corner from Julian Alvarez. Alvarez doubled the lead shortly after, with a long shot that slipped through the grasp of Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara. Despite Copenhagen’s impressive goal from Mohamed Elyounoussi, Erling Haaland restored City’s two-goal advantage just before halftime.

Guardiola praised his team’s consistency, highlighting their unbeaten home run in the Champions League that stretches back to 2018. “It’s a question of time, a process,” he said. “We are a team that believes we can do it.”

City’s victory sets up potential clashes with European giants Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain in the next round. However, few teams would relish facing the defending champions, who remain on course to become only the second team after Real Madrid to retain the trophy in its modern format.

Guardiola’s team extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 20 games, showcasing their ominous form. “We can compete everywhere because we come from the final, semifinal, final, and now the quarterfinals again,” Guardiola said.

City’s seven consecutive quarterfinals appearances equal the feats of Bayern and Manchester United. Barcelona holds the record for the most consecutive last-eight appearances, with 13 between 2008 and 2020.

The defending champions remain in contention for a treble this season, sitting just a point behind Liverpool in the Premier League and having reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

Real Madrid Advance to Champions League Quarter-Finals with 1-1 Draw Against RB Leipzig

Real Madrid Advance to Champions League Quarter-Finals with 1-1 Draw Against RB Leipzig

Real Madrid secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw against RB Leipzig in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash at the Santiago Bernabeu, advancing to the quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

The match started with both teams cautious, but it was Madrid who broke the deadlock in the 65th minute. Jude Bellingham, who had been impressive throughout the tie, initiated the move in his own half and surged forward before releasing a perfectly weighted through ball to Vinicius Jr. The Brazilian forward calmly slotted the ball past Janis Blaswich to give Madrid the lead.

However, Leipzig responded swiftly, with Willi Orban equalizing just three minutes later. The German defender headed home a corner kick to level the score and give Leipzig hope of a comeback.

Despite Leipzig’s efforts, Madrid held firm and managed to see out the match, securing their place in the last eight. The result extends Madrid’s impressive record in the Champions League, as they have reached the quarter-finals in 12 of the last 14 seasons.

Bellingham’s performance was particularly noteworthy, as he became the third-youngest player to either score or assist a goal in six consecutive Champions League appearances. The 20-year-old midfielder has been in scintillating form this season and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.

After the match, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his team had struggled to control the game. “We had to dig deep, more than we thought we might have to,” he said. “It was difficult and we played badly. Now we’re pleased to reach the quarter-finals.”

Ancelotti also highlighted the need for improvement in Madrid’s mental resilience. “When we have a small lead, we don’t know how to handle it mentally,” he said. “We don’t press and we lack intensity. That’s where we have to improve and evaluate what we didn’t do well.”

Indian Hockey Team's Paris Olympics Schedule Unveiled

Indian Hockey Team’s Paris Olympics Schedule Unveiled

India’s Hockey Odyssey at Paris Olympics: Schedule Unveiled

The Indian men’s hockey team’s path to glory at the Paris Olympics has been laid out, with the release of the official match schedule. The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists will embark on their quest for a podium finish on July 27, facing New Zealand in their opening encounter.

India’s Pool B campaign will continue with a clash against Argentina on July 29, followed by a showdown with Ireland on July 30. The team will then face the formidable Belgium on August 1 and conclude their group stage against Australia on August 2.

Pool A features an equally competitive lineup, including the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France, Great Britain, and South Africa. The top four teams from each pool will advance to the quarterfinals, scheduled for August 4. The semifinals will take place on August 6, setting the stage for the bronze-medal playoff and the grand finale on August 8.

The matches will be held at the Yves-du-Manoir Stadium in Colombes, a historic venue that has witnessed countless sporting triumphs. Belgium, the reigning Olympic champions, will be eager to defend their title, while India will be determined to improve upon their bronze medal performance in Tokyo.

The schedule announcement was made in the presence of International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and FIH president Tayyab Ikram, underscoring the significance of the event. The Indian team will now have a clear roadmap as they prepare for the biggest stage in hockey.

Mbappe Masterclass Fires PSG into Champions League Quarter-Finals

Mbappe Masterclass Fires PSG into Champions League Quarter-Finals

Kylian Mbappe’s brilliance propelled Paris Saint-Germain into the Champions League quarter-finals with a stunning brace in a 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad. The French superstar’s goals sealed a 4-1 aggregate triumph for the Ligue 1 giants.

Despite recent speculation surrounding his future, Mbappe proved his indispensable value to PSG. His electric pace and clinical finishing were too much for Real Sociedad to handle. The 25-year-old opened the scoring in the 15th minute, showcasing his exceptional skill with a clever touch and a powerful shot into the far corner.

Mbappe doubled PSG’s lead in the 56th minute, racing past the defense and coolly slotting home. His sixth goal in eight Champions League matches this season effectively ended the contest.

Real Sociedad fought valiantly but were unable to overcome Mbappe’s brilliance. Substitute Ander Barrenetxea had a goal ruled out for offside, while Gianluigi Donnarumma made a superb save to deny Benat Turrientes.

Mikel Merino scored a consolation goal for the hosts in the dying minutes, but it was too little, too late. PSG’s victory marked their first appearance in the Champions League quarter-finals since 2021.

Mbappe’s performance was hailed by both his teammates and opponents. PSG coach Luis Enrique praised his “unstoppable” ability in the final third, while Real Sociedad’s Merino acknowledged his devastating impact.

However, PSG will have to contend with the absence of Achraf Hakimi in the quarter-final first leg due to a booking. Despite this setback, the French champions will be confident of continuing their Champions League journey with Mbappe leading the charge.

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