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.