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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Barca Fight Back for Thrilling Cup Win

MADRID, Spain -- Barcelona came back from 2-1 down to beat arch-rivalReal Madrid at home in a thrilling Spanish Cup fourth round clash.

A late headed goal from Brazilian midfielder Giovanni gave Barcelona a 3-2 advantage for next week's second leg.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Josep Guardiola sliced open the Real defense with a superb pass, and the Brazilian had no problem in beating goalkeeper Bodo Illgner.

Moments later, Croatian striker Davor Suker replied by pouncing on a loose ball and blasting home the equalizer from the edge of the area.

There were chances for both sides in an open game, but Barcelona took control after the break, only to go behind in the 66th minute when Fernando Hierro rifled a superb free kick into the roof of the net.

Again the lead lasted just three minutes. A free-kick from Miguel Angel Nadal caught Hierro and the deflection left Illgner stranded.

Giovanni came on as substitute for Luis Figo and headed the winner from a corner 12 minutes from time.

Earlier, Real Betis virtually guaranteed its place in the quarterfinals by leaving Tenerife with a 2-0 victory.

Also, Zaragoza will fight relegation with its third coach of the season after sacking Victor Esparrago and appointing reserve team manager Luis Costa on Thursday.

Esparrago had held the job for only 10 games after replacing Victor Fernandez.


German soccer team captain Juergen Klinsmann said in an interview Thursday that he wants the number of foreign players on German teams limited, and that emphasis should be placed on the quality of the sport rather than profit.

In the interview published by Kicker magazine, Klinsmann said he was not against reducing the average pay of soccer players.

He also said the 14-month-old Bosman ruling, which forced Europe's top leagues to scrap quotas on foreign players, could flood teams with players from abroad.

For the sake of the national team, the number of foreign players on Bundesliga teams should be limited "to five or six," Klinsmann said.

"Basically every player should play where he wants to. But Germany wants to stage the world championships in 2006. That means the 14 to 20-year-olds must play. Otherwise it can look pretty bad for the Germans," Klinsmann said.


Sweden international Tomas Brolin has rejoined his former Italian club Parma on loan from English premier league club Leeds, Italian news agency ANSA said Thursday.