American Exports: Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey draw; Steve Cherundolo returns from injury
AMSTERDAM – It was nearly an unbeaten Sunday for Americans playing in Europe, with Clint Dempsey and Tottenham scoring late to pull out a 2-2 home draw with Tim Howard and Everton.
Dempsey saw yellow late in a sub-par full shift, but Howard was among the day's standouts. The US No. 1 (above) logged five saves, including a jaw-dropper on Mousa Dembélé's deflected shot near the hour.
Brad Friedel served as backup for Spurs, who slipped a spot to fourth. With a game in hand, Everton stand six points back of the last Champions league berth.
Bundesliga action saw Steve Cherundolo back in the Hannover 96 armband to work all 90 minutes of a 0-0 home draw with Stuttgart. It was the first action of 2013 for the Reds right back, who helped the hosts pull to within four points of a Europa League invite.
Timothy Chandler held down right midfield as streaking FC Nürnberg scored a 2-1 victory over guests Mainz 05. With three wins in four and a nine-game unbeaten run, the home side moved level on points with Hannover.
One flight down, Sandhausen attacker Andrew Wooten hit the post only a moment before hosts Duisburg bagged the 2-1 winner. The visitors slipped four points adrift of the safety zone.
Bobby Wood was an unused sub in 1860 Munich's 1-1 draw against visiting Energie Cottbus. Now winless in six at home, the Lions fell to six points short of the promotion playoff spot.
Next door in the Eredivisie, Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar were forced to settle for a 1-1 share away to 10-man NEC Nijmegen.
The US striker had a good penalty shout ignored in the first half and set up a great late chance at a winner that Alabama-born debutant Aron Jóhannsson was unable to finish. The point earned pushed AZ four points clear of the drop zone.
Over in Denmark's Superliga, Charlie Davies worked a very active 17-minute shift, but it was to no avail as Randers FC dropped a 1-0 home decision to Brøndby.
The American set up a good chance and put one of three shots on goal as the third-place Horses lost for the first time in seven games. Meanwhile, Clarence Goodson went unused by Brøndby moved clear of the relegation mire.
Conor O'Brien went close to scoring during nine relief minutes as FC Nordsjælland posted a 2-0 win at AC Horsens. The Wild Tigers won for the fourth straight time to build a seven-point cushion in the race for the second Champions League invite with four matches to play.
Across the water in Norway's Tippeligaen, Mikkel Diskerud went the distance as Rosenborg stayed tops with by blasting guests Sogndal 4-0. It also marked the first time the Troll Kids have opened a season with three straight victories in 10 years.
Steve Clark and Hønefoss fought back from an early deficit before blowing a second half lead in a 4-3 loss at Aalesund FK. The Michigan native's best save out of six denied Demar Phillips near the break, but the Jamaica had the last laugh with the winning goal.
Finally, in Portugal, Tony Taylor watched on as Estoril gained possession of the last Europa League slot with a 4-0 home rout of Nacional.