American Exports: Howard, Everton break hex vs. Friedel
AMSTERDAM — It was another busy Saturday for Americans in Europe, with Everton netminder Tim Howard outdueling countryman Brad Friedel of Tottenham for the first time in seven tries to post a 1-0 home win.
The current US No. 1 notched five saves, including a hat trick's worth of fine stops to deny Jermain Defoe. Nikica Jelavic struck for his first Toffees goal midway through the opening frame and Howard made it stand up to extend his current Goodison Park runs across all competition to five straight wins and 436 consecutive shutout minutes. Now unbeaten for two months, Everton climbed to ninth place.
Friedel, meanwhile, rang up four saves in the away net. Third-place Spurs have now lost three EPL games in a row for the first time since October of 2008.
Elsewhere, Bolton defender Tim Ream enjoyed another strong outing that included his first EPL assist, this time in a winning cause as the hosts doubled up Queens Park Rangers 2-1.
From a busted 37th-minute set piece, the former New York Red Bull served a tempting left-wing cross for Darren Pratley to nod home the opener. Ream was also tidy at the back as Wanderers snapped a four-game losing streak to vault out of the drop zone from the basement.
Clint Dempsey had a rather quiet afternoon, but he was certainly not alone as Fulham surrendered to a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa. Both Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj celebrated from the home dugout after sub Andreas Weimann's 90th-minute winner.
One flight down in the Championship, Jonathan Spector ably manned right back as Birmingham City fought back for a 1-1 share at Conventry City. Despite Marlon King burning his old club with a late equalizer, the Brums slipped to winless in four and out of the promotion playoff zone to seventh.
Over in the Bundesliga, Daniel Williams picked the wrong day to fill in at right back for ill teammate Fabian Johnson as Hoffenheim were dealt their worst ever Bundesliga defeat in a 7-1 humbling at Bayern Munich.
Williams was directly culpable on two conceded goals, with his clearance gaffe leading to the fifth and mark Franck Ribéry lost on the seventh. With but one win in their last seven, Hoffenheim have now slipped to 12th place.
Perhaps not quite fully fit from a hamstring knock yet, Timothy Chandler worked a subdued 65 minutes in FC Nürnberg's 2-1 loss at Mainz 05. Despite failing to win their fourth straight match, Der Club held firm in ninth place.
Meanwhile, Alfredo Morales went unused in Hertha Berlin dropped into the relegation mire with a 1-0 loss at FC Cologne.
Over the border in Denmark, Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjælland tentatively climbed to within a point of the summit thanks to a 1-0 victory at Odense BK.
The US international had another fine day at right back, narrowly missing his first career Danish Superliga goal with a shot just wide of the far side on 28 minutes. The Wild Tigers are now unbeaten in six and have won five of their last seven away from home.
In Israeli Ligat Ha'Al play, Bryan Gerzicich and runaway leaders Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona moved a step closer to their first crown with a 2-0 win over Hapoel Akko.
With the American diligently patrolling defensive midfield, the Ironi Stadium misers recorded their ninth shutout victory from the last 10 home games in league play. With just one left to play before a seven-game postseason round robin, Hapoel have opened up a 17-point league lead.
Leo Krupnick and stingy guests Maccabi Netanya rode an early goal past Hapoel Nir Ramat Hasharon for a 1-0 win. By notching both their third clean sheet and third win from the last four games, the sixth-place Diamonds moved to within two points of a Europa League slot.