Americans Abroad Recap: Jozy Altidore keeps slim AZ title hopes alive, while other Americans fight against relegation

The forward continued his excellent season in Holland, while U.S. internationals in England and Germany fought to keep their sides in the top flight.
Fulham grabs a win over Wigan

Fulham defeated Wigan 2-1 on Saturday but the game was not without controversy. Clint Dempsey looked to have drawn a penalty early on but his appeal was denied. Later, after Pavel Pogrebnyak equalized in the 58th, the striker looked to have scored another but the referee ruled that the ball had not completely crossed the line. Dempsey nearly scored a winner in the 77th, but Philippe Senderos’ 89th minute header proved to be the difference maker for the Cottagers.

-Matthew Braine

Jozy Altidore nets the winner to keep AZ title hopes alive

Jozy Altidore started for AZ over the weekend, playing 89 minutes and scoring the winning goal to help his side stay in the running for the Dutch Eredivisie title. After a scoreless first half, AZ came out firing in the second half with Brett Holman putting the home side up in the 47th minute after a mis-cleared corner. The lead didn’t last long, however, as substitute Quin Harden only needed five minutes after his entry to equalize for the visitors. AZ was not to be denied on the day, however. Altidore and Bereens hooked up once again, this time, with Altidore crashing his header past goalkeeper Dennis Gentenaar for the winner in the 65th minute. With the three points, AZ is now six points off Ajax at the top of the table.

-Aaron West

Toffees fight back to claim draw at Old Trafford

Down 4-2 with just 10 minutes remaining, Everton found the will to climb back, scoring two goals in the final seven minutes and shocking Manchester United at home. Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar provided the final daggers as both teams engaged in a wild contest that saw 41 shot attempts. Tim Howard made four stops but this contest was not about goalkeeping, rather the tenacious attack and drive of both sides. The draw puts Everton in seventh place while United now faces a crucial matchup against Manchester City next week.


Fabian Johnson plays 90 as Hoffenheim falls 1-0 to Leverkusen

Fabian Johnson played 90 minutes for Hoffenheim as it hosted Leverkusen over the weekend. Despite enjoying the edge in both possession and overall shots, Hoffenheim was unable to capitalize, falling to a 79th minute goal from Andre Schurrle. Sejad Salihovic had the chance to equalize from the spot in the 85th minute for Hoffenheim, but Bernd Leno was the hero for Leverkusen, saving the penalty and preserving the win for Leverkusen.


Tottenham's Champions League hopes threatened    

Spurs missed a great chance to stay level on points with fourth-place Newcastle as they fell 1-0 at QPR. Former Tottenham man Adel Taarabt scored the winning goal in the 24th minute, dropping Spurs to fifth, three points back of Newcastle. Brad Friedel made two stops but wasn’t too sharp on Taarabt’s goal. Spurs actually had a man advantage for the final 10 minutes after Taarabt was sent off, however, the visitors could not find an equalizer. Tottenham has now claimed just one victory over its last nine Premier League games.


Timothy Chandler and Nurnberg seal Bundesliga safety with draw

Timmy Chandler played 90 minutes for Nurnberg as it drew 1-1 with Hamburg at home to secure safety in the top flight with two matches remaining. Nurnberg held the edge in possession, and had nearly double Hamburg’s shots, but had to settle for a point after Daniel Didavi’s 64th minute equalizer following Hamburg’s opener five minutes earlier through Korean wunderkind Heung-Min Song.


Bolton still teetering on relegation

Tim Ream played well as Bolton drew 1-1 with Swansea on Saturday. Despite allowing an early goal from Scott Sinclair, the Trotters rebounded shortly thereafter through Chris Eagles. Ream did well late to deny Sinclair the winner as Bolton held on for a valuable point. The draw keeps the club in 19th and more and more it is looking like the club will be relegated. 


Steve Cherundolo plays 90 minutes as Hannover is held to 0-0 draw

In a match not built for the neutral viewer, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover locked down seventh place in the Bundesliga, with just one win needed to secure a Europa League place for next year. Despite its 17 shots, and 57% possession, Hannover could not find the back of the net, settling for a 0-0 draw against Freiburg.


Villains creep towards safety

Eric Lichaj played well on Saturday, helping his club to a 0-0 draw against Sunderland. The defender was part of a staunch defense that denied the Black Cats on several occasions. The draw inched Aston Villa closer to Premier League safety as it now sits five points above the drop zone.


Michael Bradley and Chievo hold Champions League hopefuls Udinese to a 0-0 draw

Michael Bradley had another solid game in the center of midfield for Chievo, continuing his stellar debut Serie A season. Chievo dominated the chances against a surprisingly muted Udinese side, but was denied its best chance for the win as on-form goalkeeper Samir Handanovic denied Cyril Thereau from the spot in the 43rd minute.


Rangers blow out Hearts

Both Maurice Edu and Carlos Bocanegra played the full 90 on Saturday as Rangers beat Hearts 3-0. Edu nearly opened the scoring early but his header was denied. Andrew Little bagged a double for the Glasgow outfit as Rangers put further space between themselves and third-place Motherwell.


Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht beat Club Brugge to go four points clear in the Belgian Jupiler League Playoffs

Sacha Kljestan started and played 90 minutes, picking up a booking as RSC Anderlecht secured a vital win over Club Brugge to open up a four-point lead at the top of the Jupiler League playoffs. Despite the dominance in possession enjoyed by Brugge, it was unable to capitalize and Anderlecht’s danger men Diumerci Mbokani and Matias Suarez combined for the Congolese to slide home the winner.


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