Real Betis earn 3-3 draw
Real Betis Balompie stormed back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at home to 10-man Sevilla thanks to a late goal from Emmanuel Nosa Igiebor in a typically fraught La Liga derby between the Andalusian city neighbors on Friday. Substitute Nosa nodded home in the 89th minute at Betis’s Benito Villamarin stadium, setting off wild celebrations among the home fans desperate for success against their bitter rivals. The draw leaves Betis in sixth place on 48 points with seven games left, still in with a good chance of qualifying for Europe, while Sevilla’s bid for continental competition looks to be all but over as they remain stuck in 10th on 42 points.
NHL non-committal on Games
The National Hockey League (NHL) said on Friday more work needs to be done from all parties involved in the Olympic discussion before it gives players the green light to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. After meeting with officials from the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL gave no indication as to whether it would interrupt the 2013-2014 season to send players to Sochi, Russia, for the Feb. 7- 23 Games. “We had a good working session and were able to discuss all of the issues involved in the possibility of having NHL Players participate in the 2014 Sochi Games,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “The parties are committed to continuing to work through the process, but there remains work to be done on all sides.” The key issues standing in the way of an agreement, which would also have to be approved by the NHL Players’ Association, are believed to be travel, insurance and hospitality for players’ and owners’ families.
Durant fined for gesture
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was fined US$25,000 by the National Basketball Association on Friday after making a throat slashing gesture during Thursday’s win over the Golden State Warriors. In a statement, the league said the fine was for a “menacing gesture,” which occurred in the second quarter of Oklahoma City’s 116-97 win. It is the first time Durant has been fined in his NBA career and the player said after the game that the gesture reflected his philosophy of “kill them and pray for them after the game.” Durant was seen making a praying gesture after the throat slash in the game where he had 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Western Conference leaders.
Kubica retires early
Poland’s former Formula One driver Robert Kubica retired from the opening day of the Rally of Portugal, his world championship debut, after damaging his Citroen’s radiator and then running out of tires. Kubica, who had a near-fatal accident in a minor rally in Italy in 2011, was running strongly, but had a puncture and damaged two more tires in Friday’s opening four gravel stages with only one spare in his car. He had been quick through the second stage despite sliding the car sideways into a ditch, where a branch penetrated the radiator. Kubica last raced in Formula One with Renault, now Lotus, in 2010 and sees rallying as both a way back to Grand Prix racing and an alternative career if he cannot regain fitness levels. He is due to compete in seven rounds of the championship in the second-tier WRC2 category.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two