American Exports: Altidore gets two more in AZ draw
AMSTERDAM — It was a very productive Wednesday for Americans playing in Europe, highlighted by a brace from Man of the Match Jozy Altidore in AZ Alkmaar's 2-2 draw with Eredivisie title-race guests FC Twente.
The US striker opened the scoring with a corner kick header after just three minutes. With the game again level in the 70th minute, constant nuisance Altidore worked a combo with Adam Maher before smoothly evading Twente defender Douglas to fire home from 16 yards.
The AZ top scorer now has 13 goals on the league campaign and 17 across all competition, both career highs. However, Emir Bajrami equalized for Twente in stoppage time, putting AZ three points adrift of leaders Ajax.
Next door in the Bundesliga, Fabian Johnson potted his second goal of the season on a mad dash to help Hoffenheim school visiting Hamburg 4-0.
The left back accepted an overlapping pass into the corner and wiggled his way through the defense to slot far post for his team's third on 51 minutes. Daniel Wiliams came on for the final five minutes as ninth-place Hoffenheim kept slim Europa League hopes alive.
Timothy Chandler got in on the offensive fun, notching an assist in FC Nürnberg's 4-1 rout of Jermaine Jones and Schalke.
The right winger picked out Daniel Didavi for the home side's third just before halftime. Jones departed just past the hour after collecting an 11th yellow card in his last 13 league games.
The win gives Der Club six points of breathing room over the danger zone, while Schalke hold still in third place.
Hannover 96 captain Steve Cherundolo held down his usual right back station as the hosts scored a 2-0 win over derby rivals Wolfsburg. The Reds remained the last home unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season and moved to within two points of the last Europa league slot.
Andrew Wooten played the closing 22 minutes as cellar-dwellers Kaiserslautern all but sealed their fate with a 3-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen. Now 11 points from safety with four matches to play, the Red Devils have dropped five straight and are winless since October.
Over in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan served up the winning assist as Anderlecht tentatively moved five points clear at the top with a 4-1 victory away to 76-minute man Mikkel Diskerud and Gent.
The former Chivas USA ace picked up an early booking, then went to work trying to set up Matias Suárez. After a few tries slipping him into the area, the Argentine deposited the eventual decider in the 34th minute.