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Thursday 12th October 2017

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Gordon Strachan leaves his position as Scotland manager

Gordon Strachan has left his position as Scotland manager by "mutual consent".

The decision, taken in conjunction with the Scottish FA board, follows two failed qualification campaigns.

Strachan and his assistant Mark McGhee have stepped down with immediate effect.


 

England qualify for World Cup 2018 in Russia

Harry Kane's injury-time winner secured England's qualification for next summer's World Cup with victory against Slovenia - but this was a display designed to dampen any sense of expectation.

Kane, England captain for the night, bundled in Kyle Walker's cross for his 11th goal in 22 international appearances to finally break down Slovenia's resistance as they looked likely to hold out for a point.

It meant manager Gareth Southgate can now start planning in earnest for Russia but could not cover up the cracks in an England performance that was lifeless, uninspired and mediocre.

Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling almost broke the deadlock before Kane made his breakthrough, the hosts were also grateful to much-criticised keeper Joe Hart for some crucial interventions.

England and Southgate have achieved their goal. It was not, however, achieved in a manner that will start alarm bells ringing for any future World Cup opposition.

Elsewhere in the group, Scotland kept their qualifying hopes alive in dramatic fashion as a late Martin Skrtel own goal gave them victory over 10-man Slovakia at Hampden Park.


 

Real Madrid crush Juventus to retain the Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid retained the Champions League in scintillating style by overwhelming Juventus in Cardiff.

Real's record 12th triumph in this competition - and third in four seasons - was predictably orchestrated by Ronaldo, who has now scored in three different Champions League finals.

Ronaldo stopped a bright Juve opening in its tracks as he swept in Dani Carvajal's pass after 20 minutes, before Mario Mandzukic levelled with one of the great Champions League final goals, firing a sublime overhead kick beyond Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Real were unstoppable after the break, restoring their lead through Casemiro's deflected shot before Ronaldo scored at the near post from a cross by the outstanding Luka Modric.

Juventus' misery increased when substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second caution after a clash with Sergio Ramos, before substitute Marco Asensio emphasised Real's superiority with a precise finish in the last minute.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane has now won back-to-back Champions Leagues - as well as this season's La Liga title - since he took charge in January 2016.