Real Madr id go through
Holders Real Madrid had to dig deep to come from two goals down and beat heavily bankrolled Malaga 3-2 in their Spanish Cup Last 16 first leg clash in Madrid on Tuesday. Malaga — who have been transformed since Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani invested in them — were looking comfortable after goals by Sergio Sanchez and Martin de Michelis put them ahead, but Real roused themselves to gain a slight advantage ahead of the second leg in Malaga next week. Three goals in 10 minutes in the second-half by German midfielder Sami Khedira, Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain and French strike partner Karim Benzema saw a first-choice Real side edge to victory. Both Malaga’s goals came from headers before the half hour mark.
Havenaar joins Dutch team
Japan striker Mike Havenaar has completed a medical and joined up with his new teammates at Dutch first division club Vitesse Arnhem. The beanpole 24-year-old, who left relegated J-League side Ventforet Kofu to join Vitesse, had also been linked with German club Wolfsburg before opting for the Netherlands. Havenaar, whose Dutch father Dido is the goalkeeping coach for Japan’s Shimizu S-Pulse, was born and raised in Japan. He has signed a two-year-plus contract with Vitesse, who also have Japanese defender Michihiro Yasuda on their books, to run until the end of the 2014 season. Havenaar made his national team debut as a substitute on Sept. 2, when Japan squeezed past North Korea in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier. He then scored twice in an 8-0 thrashing of Tajikistan in another home qualifier and netted 17 J-League goals last year to finish second in the scoring charts, two behind Australia striker Josh Kennedy.
QPR appeal red card
Queens Park Rangers are appealing to the English FA following the red card awarded to Joey Barton in Monday’s match against Norwich City. The struggling west London club said on their Web site that they had lodged a formal appeal and would be making no further comment. Barton was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident with Norwich’s Bradley Johnson after 34 minutes, when he appeared to headbutt his opponent during the Premier League match at Loftus Road which Norwich won 2-1 after Barton had given Rangers an early lead. Both Barton and his manager Neil Warnock vehemently protested the sending off after the game, with Warnock claiming that referee Neil Swarbrick and his linesman were “conned” into sending off the Rangers skipper. “The assistant referee has guessed, if I’m honest,” Warnock told BBC Sport. “Who says cheats don’t prosper? Bradley has conned him.” Barton said the officials told him at halftime that they “never saw” the incident with Johnson.
Sri Lanka in Twenty20 bid
Sri Lanka is in negotiations to host Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to raise money for its financially strapped cricket board, the Cricinfo Web site reported yesterday. Upali Dharmadasa, the newly elected president of Sri Lanka Cricket, told the Web site he had approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to schedule some of the Twenty20 league’s games on the island. “Make it a venture,” he said. “On the whole, they [the BCCI] will help Sri Lanka as a tourist attraction and see that Sri Lanka Cricket comes up.”