American Exports: Juan Agudelo notches an assist in first league start with FC Utrecht
UTRECHT, Netherlands – Juan Agudelo set up the equalizer in his first Eredivisie start on Sunday, as FC Utrecht clawed back for a 1-1 share with nearby rivals and table-topping holders Ajax.
The Stoke City loan forward was paired up top with Steve De Ridder in a situational 4-4-2, and it was that newly acquainted pair that pulled the hosts level in the 33rd minute. Agudelo flicked a long ball forward for De Ridder, who turned a stumbling defender before rounding the keeper to bag his eighth of the season.
All in all, it was an encouraging shift from Agudelo, who caused a few turnovers and enjoyed a few long scampers on the ball to provide pressure valve help. The former New England Revolution man also notched one important corner kick clearance and offered some incisive attack passing as Utrecht managed 12 shots despite having just 39 percent of the possession.
The result snapped the home side's four-game losing streak, tentatively lifting them to 12th place.
Next door in the Bundesliga, Timothy Chandler went the distance as FC Nürnberg continued their resurrection by climbing out of the danger zone with a 3-1 triumph at Hertha Berlin.
Making a solid bid for his third straight Team of the Week mention, the US right back pitched in with an all-around effort. Chandler caused Hertha worlds of trouble dribbling into attack, while finding time for 10 clearances and four tackles in the defensive end.
Now unbeaten in five and enjoying their first Bundesliga win streak since May, Der Club rose to 15th place on goal differential.