Barcelona secure Copa draw at Sevilla
MADRID, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Thierry Henry's first-half strike gave Barcelona a valuable away goal and earned his side a 1-1 draw with holders Sevilla in their Copa Del Rey last-16, first leg on Wednesday.
The France international broke away to put Barca in front but Sevilla hit back through Diego Capel just before the break.
The home side showed a greater desire to find the winner but failed to put away their chances.
Earlier, Joaquin returned to haunt his former club Real Betis, scoring both goals for Valencia in a 2-1 away win that gave Ronald Koeman's side a much-needed lift.
The Spain winger, better known for his footwork than his aerial prowess, scored with two headers in the first 12 minutes.
Betis cut the deficit early in the second half when Valencia's Juan Manuel Mata thumped Mariano Pavone's header into his own net.
Last season's finalists Getafe swept aside struggling Levante 3-0 at home, and Recreativo Huelva held on for a 1-0 win at home to high-flying Villarreal after Martin Caceres scored with a fourth-minute header.
The matches between Real Zaragoza and Racing Santander, and Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol both ended 1-1.
Primera Liga leaders Real Madrid visit Real Mallorca on Thursday, while Atletico Madrid are at home to Valladolid in the final two ties of the round. The return legs are next week.
Barca took the sting out of the first half when Henry raced onto Rafael Marquez's long pass and scored in the one-on-one after a deft piece of control in the 24th minute.
But as halftime approached the home side had Barca pegged back and when a corner flew across the area Sevilla youngster Capel drilled in a low shot at the far post.
Sevilla sought to up the tempo after the break, Ernesto Chevanton rattling the crossbar with a powerful header and Victor Valdes was at full-stretch to turn Luis Fabiano's freekick round the post.
Barca appeared content to settle for the draw though Edmilson cracked a 30-metre shot against the upright midway through the second half, and Giovani dos Santos flashed a shot just over.