By Aaron West
Once again, action this week was limited for the Americans plying their trade on the continental landmass. Continuing it’s good run of form, Oguchi Onyewu’s Standard Liege side was able to leapfrog Anderlecht in the Belgian Jupiler League standings thanks to their 1-0 win over Westerlo.
After seeing Anderlecht’s match against Genk ruled out due to torrential rains, Standard had a chance to go top of the standings for the weekend. Standard struggled against an unwieldy home Westerlo side that had ambitions of cracking the top three. With Onyewu marshalling the back line, the Standard defense held strong, but the visitors were unable to create many chances on the other side of the pitch.
In the 84th minute, Serbian international Milan Jovanovic’s cushioned header from Wilfred Dalmat’s picked out Igor De Camargo and his first-time volley squeezed through a mass of defenders and into Yves De Winter’s goal. The match-winning strike sees Standard move two points clear of Anderlecht at the top of the league, although their rivals have a game in hand.
Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgium)
Away to Westerlo, 1-0, 90 minutes
Next up: vs. Roeselare, Saturday, January 31
Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
Away to St. Etienne (French Cup), 2-0, 90 minutes
Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes side continued their amazing defensive performance this season with yet another clean sheet. This time competing in the French Cup, the team from the Brittany region moved to the quarterfinals on the strength of a Jimmy Briand brace. After being sprung from a perfectly executed counter-attack on the stroke of halftime for his first goal, Briand sealed the match just minutes from the final whistle to send Les Rouges et Noir through to the next round.
Next up: vs. Toulouse, Saturday, January 31
Patrick Lane again watched from the bench as Cercle Brugge lost at home to Kortrijk.
Landon Donovan continued his wonderful run of form over the weekend, scoring two goals in only 30 minutes against FC Mainz as FC Bayern ran out 5-0 victors.
Aaron West's feature "Americans on the Continent" appears weekly on Goal.com.