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Sports in brief


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PARIS — Italy opened with an impressive victory over Belgium, while defending champion Spain beat the Czech Republic at the European Championship on Monday.

Ridiculed by Italian media as one of the country's worst tournament teams, Italy's 2-0 victory sent the Azzurri to the top of Group E after Sweden and Ireland drew 1-1.

"We did really well to prepare this game so well and prove all the critics wrong, because the critics were all against us," said Italy coach Antonio Conte, who got a bloody nose in celebrations after Emanuele Giaccherini's first-half goal.

Said center back Leonardo Bonucci, who was a big part of a strong defense: "We showed some typical Italian qualities. Sacrifice, humility, physical fitness, desire."

Spain got a late goal from Gerard Pique to win 1-0.


Former DT Robinson dies in Milwaukee

Bryan Robinson, who played 14 seasons as a defensive lineman for the Rams, Bears, Dolphins, Bengals and Cardinals before retiring after the 2010 season, died Saturday after he was found unresponsive in a Milwaukee hotel room. He was 41. Milwaukee police said there were no obvious signs of trauma and are treating the incident as a sudden death. Robinson is probably best remembered for blocking a field goal for the Bears as time expired against the Packers on Nov. 7, 1999, Chicago's first game after Walter Payton's death. "He was kind of a jerk to me but if you took it the right way it was helpful, especially to me as a rookie," said former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. "He became one of my better friends on the team.

MORE NFL: Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox agreed to a six-year deal worth $103 million. The first-round pick in 2012 has 308 tackles and 22 sacks in his career. … Saints outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha has an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee, the same knee in which the 2015 second-round pick had ACL repairs twice during college, and is reportedly out for the season. … The Lions will have cheerleaders for the first time since 1974. President Rod Wood said the cheerleaders will elevate game-day entertainment.

et cetera

tennis: Steve Johnson of the United States beat fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 in the Wimbledon warmup tournament at Queen's Club in London. The other main draw matches were postponed by rain.

wnba: Minnesota (10-0) can break its league record for best start, set in 2012, against Indiana tonight.

Times wires

Sports in brief 06/13/16 [Last modified: Monday, June 13, 2016 10:20pm]
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