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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

The Morning Score: Thursday

Wakey wakey, rise and shine – then take a look at all that horrible rain and get back into bed with Thursday morning’s sport stories.

Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

1. #EURO 2012 The three-in-a-row is still on for Spain after La Roja beat Portugal in the semi-finals of the Euro 2012, but it was the closest of tight affairs. The match finished scoreless after 120 minutes, with Cesc Fabregas scoring the decisive Spanish spot-kick after misses from Joao Moutinho and Bruno Alves.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who had enjoyed a largely successful tournament, was left as Portugal’s frustrated, unused fifth penalty taker.

2. #DUBS Pat Gilroy insists there were still some difficult calls to make when picking the Dublin side for Sunday’s Leinster SFC semi-final against Wexford, despite the reigning All-Ireland champions having cruised to success in their opening championship victory over Louth.

“There were three or four positions where people, for instance Cian O’Sullivan and Michael Darragh Macauley wo were injured the last day and have gone well since, were there and it was difficult not to be picking them,” said Gilroy. “A week after the last game Cian was back training and he will certainly be in the subs at the weekend. The only fella that has any injury is Paul Brogan, he got a thigh strain in a club Championship match.”

3. #IRISH OPEN It’s already underway at Royal Portrush, and some of the biggest names in golf are taking part. Who? Irish golf’s four big stars — McDowell, McIlroy, Clarke and Harrington — are all there as is another current major holder, 2011 USPGA champion Keegan Bradley. On top of that, there are another five major winners in the field with Jose Maria Olazabal, John Daly, Michael Campbell, Rich Beem and Paul Lawrie all taking part.

Here’s our preview of the event.

4. #PAYBACK Michael Phelps got his own back on Ryan Lochte as he won the 200-metre freestyle at the United States Olympic Trials. Lochte had gained an edge over the 26-year-old by sealing victory in the 400m medley on Monday.

Both men have qualified for London 2012, while 17-year-old Missy Franklin and Rachel Bootsma booked their places in the women’s 100m backstroke.

5. #RAFA Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will not be joining Serie A side Fiorentina as manager, with talks breaking down ‘with mutual regret.’

“Following discussions held recently in London and subsequent contacts between UC Sampdoria and Mr Rafael Benitez, with mutual regret, the club and the Spanish manager agreed that the time for collaboration was not right,” a statement on the club’s website read.

Spain live to fight another day >

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