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July 2018
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News Headlines
Third party insurance for two, four-wheeler be made mandatory: Supreme Court        Supreme Court stays Madras HC order awarding extra marks to NEET Tamil candidates        Trump invites Putin to White House in the fall        Zimbabwe vs Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman scores double century in record partnership with Imam-ul-Haq to breeze past hosts        Modi Govt Gets AIADMK Boost as No-Trust Vote Turns Into Show of Strength for 2019        IOC adds 7 medal events to 2022 Beijing Winter Games program        Indian outplay New Zealand 4-2 in hockey series opener        Samsung, Xiaomi corner 60 pc share of India's smartphone mkt in Q2: Canalys        Indo-Pacific must be free, open and and inclusive region: Swaraj        Indian man shot dead in Canada, two suspects arrested        Trump says looking forward to 'second meeting' with Putin        Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond labelling forwards        Unidentified 'intruder' killed at Indo-Pak border: official        Oppn, Govt brace for no-trust vote today; BJP confident of win, Cong says issue not just of numbers        Centre Forcing AgustaWestland Middleman To Frame Sonia Gandhi: Congress        We were clinical, says England captain Eoin Morgan        Growth has been solid, hope Olympiad will demonstrate it: Anand        Govt working on another verison of UDAN, says Sinha        Talks on between India, Singapore for cruise tourism: Gadkari        'Not too late to save Brexit': ex-foreign secretary Johnson        
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Sports News
Tick, Tock: Time running out for Messi to deliver
 
Nizhny Novgorod, Jun 19 (AFP) Time is running out for Lionel Messi to bring Argentina a World Cup, which would give him the one thing that's missing from a career that ranks among the greatest.

He turns 31 on Sunday, which means this World Cup could be his last chance. It also means that Thursday's match against Croatia is momentous. He has delivered for his club Barcelona - four Champions League titles, and nine La Liga championships in Spain - but still no major title for Argentina.

Messi missed a penalty - it was saved - in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland in the opening group match. Argentina needs to beat Croatia to clear its path from the three-game group stage to the knock-out round of 16.

"We have to look at what we need to correct from the Iceland match, but we can't dwell on it," Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado said.

"We have to look forward and win the next match against Croatia." The Croatians opened with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, putting them in a better spot in Group D than Argentina when the teams meet on the banks of the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod.

Jorge Sampaoli hasn't used the same lineup twice in the 12 games he's been in charge for Argentina. He's juggling again, this time likely to start 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick and can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Angel di Maria.

As with all the Argentina coaches before him, Sampaoli has searched for the right partnership with Messi, who has often carried Argentina by himself and is always compared with Maradona, who brought Argentina its last World Cup title in 1986.

"I think that Jorge is looking at every position. We'll see what happens and what he decides on the day," Pavon said. "I feel confident and luckily things are going well for me, but I don't know yet if I'll be a starter."

25-YEAR TITLE DROUGHT

It's hard to believe, but Argentina has not won a major title since taking the Copa America - the South American championship - in 1993. That's 25 years ago; a quarter century of drought for a country that sees itself as soccer royalty.

What two-time champion Argentina has felt recently is only bitter defeat: the losing finalist against Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and two more runner-up finishes in the 2015 and 2016 at the Copa America - both times against Chile.

SENT PACKING

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic because he wouldn't come off the bench as a substitute against Nigeria. Kalinic, who plays for AC Milan, says he has a back injury although news reports in Croatia say he is unhappy being a substitute.

Dalic said of Kalinic, "I need players who are ready." Croatia now has 22 players on the World Cup roster.

OTHER ARGENTINA CHANGES

Sampaoli experimented after the Iceland draw with using three defenders with Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico. Mercado would replace Marcos Rojo, who was sub-par against Iceland.

Lucas Biglia is also likely to be dropped from midfield and replaced by Marcos Acuna. Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega and Enzo Perez are also possibilities.


Zimbabwe vs Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman scores double century in record partnership with Imam-ul-Haq to breeze past hosts
IOC adds 7 medal events to 2022 Beijing Winter Games program
Indian outplay New Zealand 4-2 in hockey series opener
We were clinical, says England captain Eoin Morgan
Growth has been solid, hope Olympiad will demonstrate it: Anand
Bolt poised for surprise trial with Aussie football club
Iceland coach steps down after 7 years in charge
After Kohli, assistant coach Bangar comes to Dhoni's defence
France set for heroes' welcome after thrilling World Cup win
Djokovic beats Anderson, wins 4th Wimbledon title
Thailand Open Super 500: PV Sindhu loses to Nozomi Okuhara in final
H-1B visa alert: Donald Trump makes things worse for Indian techies
World Cup: Belgium beat England 2-0 to finish 3rd
PV Sindhu makes final of Thailand Open, Okuhara awaits
Angelique Kerber defeats Serena Williams to win Wimbledon 2018
World Cup: Deflated England, Belgium get ready for third place clash
First time in winter: FIFA confirms 2022 World Cup to be held between November and December in Qatar
Mental strength carried Croatia to World Cup final, says Lovren
Kohli currently best batsman because Smith not there: Ponting
They're coming home: football world hails Thai cave 'heroes'
KERALA NEWS
Kerala among 13 states on thunderstorm alert
 (New Delhi, May 7, 2018): Thunderstorms accompanied by squall, hail and heavy rains are likel  
Kerala Karshaka Jadha Opens to a Great Beginning / Video
Malappuram press club attack: RSS workers nabbed
Workers injured in mudslide at construction site
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump invites Putin to White House in the fall
 WASHINGTON: The White House announced Thursday that Vladimir Putin has been invited to Washington th
Indian man shot dead in Canada, two suspects arrested
Trump says looking forward to 'second meeting' with Putin
'Not too late to save Brexit': ex-foreign secretary Johnson
NATIONAL NEWS
Supreme Court stays Madras HC order awarding extra marks to NEET Tamil candidates
 New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Madras High Court directive to the Central Board o
Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond labelling forwards
Unidentified 'intruder' killed at Indo-Pak border: official
Oppn, Govt brace for no-trust vote today; BJP confident of win, Cong says issue not just of numbers
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