SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF
WELLINGTON - The New Zealand Rugby League has given candidates for the vacant Kiwis coaching job 10 days to apply. With Stephen Kearney's contract having ended after their loss to Australia at the World Cup final in November, the NZRL publicly advertised on Tuesday for applicants to fill the role for two years.
MADRID - Two goals by Ibai Gomez helped Athletic Bilbao come from behind to beat Valladolid 4-2 at the new San Mames stadium in the Spanish soccer league. The victory lifts Bilbao back into fourth place on the La Liga table. Valladolid's Oscar Gonzalez opened the score, Gomez equalise in the 65th, before Oscar de Marcos added another for Athletic.
NEW YORK - The NHL has suspended Vancouver coach John Tortorella without pay for 15 days for his conduct after a brawl between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames. Tortorella went to Calgary's locker room at intermission following the first period on Saturday, which began with several fights and four game misconducts per team.
BIRMINGHAM - Diego Lugano scored his first goal for West Bromwich Albion to rescue a 1-1 draw against Everton yesterday in new manager Pepe Mel's first English Premier League game in charge. The Uruguay international's 75th-minute header prevented a misfiring Everton side from going back into the top four after Kevin Mirallas had given the visitors a first-half lead.
Bunch of losers
CAPE TOWN - South Africa's national team has been described as "a bunch of losers" by the sports minister Fikile Mbalula after being eliminated in the group stage of the lower-level African Nations Championship. The 2010 World Cup hosts lost 3-1 to Nigeria on Sunday and failed to progress in the continental tournament for home-based players. Playing at home, South Africa only beat Mozambique in Group A.
SHARJAH - Pakistan have pulled off a thrilling five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third and final Test in Sharjah, levelling the series at 1-1. Pakistan were set a daunting target of 302 in 59 overs on the fifth and final day, but they chased it down as if playing Twenty20 cricket, with Azhar Ali (103) and Sarfraz Ahmed (48) sharing a rapid 89-run fourth wicket stand.
LISBON - Cristiano Ronaldo has received one of Portugal's highest honours from the country's president. The Portugal captain was awarded a medal and ribbon making him an official of the Order of Prince Henry at a formal ceremony on Monday in Lisbon's presidential palace. Ronaldo says it is "a moment of great pride". President Anibal Cavaco Silva says Ronaldo deserves the recognition.
MELBOURNE - Boom Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard has upset Serbia's Ana Ivanovic to advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. With Ivanovic twice requiring medical treatment on her right thigh late in the second set, Bouchard seized her opportunity, going on to win 5-7 7-5 6-2 in a match lasting two hours and 24 minutes.