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Originally published Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 9:50 PM

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Three English Premier League teams advance in Europa League quarterfinals

Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea all scored late goals to advance to the Europa League soccer quarterfinals, succeeding after their fellow...

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Soccer

Three English teams advance in Europa League quarterfinals

Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea all scored late goals to advance to the Europa League soccer quarterfinals, succeeding after their fellow English teams failed in the elite Champions League.

Papiss Cisse scored with the final touch of the game as Newcastle beat 10-man Anzhi Makhachkala 1-0 after their round-of-16 opener was scoreless. Tottenham advanced on the away goals rule following a 4-1 loss at Inter Milan, while Chelsea secured a 3-2 aggregate-goals win in its two-game series with Steaua Bucharest.

The Premier League trio will be joined by Basel, Benfica, Fenerbahce, Lazio and Rubin Kazan in the last eight of Europe's second-tier club competition.

U.S. falls one spot in rankings

The United States fell one spot to No. 33 in FIFA's rankings while world and European champion Spain remains No. 1.

The drop by the Americans on Thursday in the rankings, released monthly, comes despite not playing in a quiet month for international soccer.

Spain is followed by Germany, Argentina, England and Italy.

RSL defender suspended 1 game

Major League Soccer's disciplinary committee suspended Real Salt Lake defender Abdoulie Mansally one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for head-butting D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen in the 61st minute of Saturday's game.

Tennis

Wozniacki, Kerber advance without playing matches

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on Wednesday because of a right ankle injury that had been bothering the world's second-ranked player since before the tournament began.

Her withdrawal meant No. 8 seed Caroline Wozniacki, her scheduled opponent in the quarterfinals, advanced to the semifinals. There, she will face Angelique Kerber, who also advanced due to a withdrawal. No. 7 seed Sam Stosur pulled out of her quarterfinal against Kerber because of a right calf injury.

Nadal easily defeats Federer in unusually early matchup

Rafael Nadal defeated error-prone Roger Federer 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in the earliest meeting between the two rivals since they first played each other in 2004.

Nadal, who returned to the ATP Tour a month ago after missing seven months due to a left knee injury, needed barely 1 ½ hours to close out the defending champion in their 29th career meeting Thursday night and the first in a quarterfinal. Nadal faced just two break points on his serve in the match.

Figure Skating

Kim Yu-Na dazzles at Worlds

Kim Yu-Na reminded everyone of what they'd been missing Thursday, winning the short program in her first appearance at the World Figure Skating Championships since 2011.

Kim showed no signs of rust or nerves, performing with the same elegance and class that won her the Olympic gold in Vancouver — and pretty much every other title the two years before that. With a score of 69.97, she's more than three points ahead of defending world champion Carolina Kostner (66.86) and Kanako Murakami of Japan (66.64) going into Saturday's free skate.

U.S. champion Ashley Wagner is fifth while Gracie Gold is ninth.

Auto racing

Grand-Am Road Racing, American Le Mans merge

The Grand-Am Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series said they merged on Thursday, becoming United SportsCar Racing.

Ed Bennett, president and CEO of Grand-Am, and ALMS president and CEO Scott Atherton unveiled the organization's new name and logo at Sebring International Raceway.

Elsewhere

Former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw pleaded not guilty in Atlanta to charges stemming from an argument and shooting in November. Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument in Atlanta with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, who told police she was Holdsclaw's ex-girlfriend. Authorities allege Holdsclaw broke Lacy's car windows and fired at it.

Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic won the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint for her second biathlon World Cup victory on Thursday in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Soukalova, who took her first World Cup title in a sprint in Slovenia in December, shot clean to win the last sprint of the season in 21 minutes, 25.6 seconds.

Aksel Lund Svindal conceded the overall World Cup title to defending champion Marcel Hirscher after both his favored speed events were canceled by bad weather at the finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The super-G was canceled Thursday because of fog, wind and a 45-minute delay after Klaus Kroell of Austria crashed and broke his arm, and Svindal won't race in Sunday's season-ending slalom, his worst event and Hirscher's best.

The canceled women's race gave the seasonlong super-G title to Tina Maze of Slovenia. She could have been caught only by American Julia Mancuso.

• Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Friday's opening practice session for Formula One's season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The three-time reigning world champion had a time of 1 minute, 27.211 seconds around the Albert Park circuit, putting him ahead of the Ferrari pair of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

• Billionaire Philip Anschutz said he is pulling AEG, his sports and entertainment company, off the market. The company owns the Los Angeles Kings, the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Galaxy and part of the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as major entertainment and real estate holdings in Los Angeles. Anschutz said in a statement Thursday that he had made clear that he wouldn't sell the company unless the right buyer came forward. Tim Leiweke, who has served as president and CEO, is leaving.

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