Valencia defeat Sevilla
Valencia beat Sevilla 1-0 thanks to Jonas’ first-half goal on Thursday in the opening leg of a round-of-16 matchup in the Copa del Rey. Valencia dominated possession in the first half at Mestalla stadium and Jonas capitalized with a goal in the 33rd minute that proved enough to secure the win. Valencia and Sevilla are the last Spanish teams to have won domestic titles other than Barcelona and Real Madrid. Valencia won the Copa in 2008 and Sevilla lifted the trophy in 2007 and 2010. Earlier on Thursday, a 10-man Espanyol became the latest topflight team to lose to a lower-division opponent this week when second-tier Cordoba scored two late goals to stage a 2-1 comeback win.
Khan questions mystery man
British boxer Amir Khan on Thursday accused an unidentified man of “interfering” with the judges’ scorecards during his controversial defeat by Lamont Peterson in Washington. Khan, who lost his WBA super lightweight and IBF light welterweight titles to Peterson, posted a number of messages on his Twitter account and highlighted footage from last month’s fight as he questioned the appearance of a man at ringside. “The truth is finally coming out slowly but surely ... if I lost fair and square then fair enough I’ve lost n I move on, but does it really take over 10 minutes from the final bell to decide who’s won?” Khan said on Twitter. Following the bout on Dec. 10, there was confusion and an unusually long delay of about 10 minutes in announcing the majority decision in Peterson’s favor. In TV footage, a man can be seen next to WBA supervisor, Michael Welsh. He then appears to reach across in front of him. Khan’s camp said it was at this point the man interfered with the scorecards.
Barch suspended one game
Florida Panthers forward Krystofer Barch has been suspended for one game after making an inappropriate comment to P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, the NHL said on Thursday. Barch, who was ejected after speaking out at the end of the first period of the Panthers’ 3-2 win last Saturday, will miss Thursday’s game in New York against the Rangers. “Mr Barch has admitted making the remark, but denies that the comment was racially motivated,” Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement.
Kings get coach Smart
The Sacramento Kings named Keith Smart as the team’s new head coach on Thursday after firing Paul Westphal following a 2-5 start to the season. Smart coached the Golden State Warriors last season and joined the Kings as an assistant this season. “Keith will bring a new perspective to the team as we try to move forward with the season,” Geoff Petrie, president of basketball operations, said in a statement on the team’s Web site. Tension in the team had mounted as the losses increased and a dispute between Westphal and center DeMarcus Cousins festered. In two-plus seasons, Westphal compiled a 51-120 record with the Kings, going 25-57 in 2010 and 24-58 last season as they missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. The Kings were expected to improve this season and perhaps challenge for a playoff spot, but instead sit in the cellar of the Pacific.