Canadian Exports: Jackson leads Norwich to EPL
It’s fair to say Simeon Jackson loves big games.
Two years ago, when he was with Gillingham in League Two, he scored the winning goal in a playoff final that propelled that team into the next rung of the English football ladder.
On Monday, he repeated his heroics, this time nodding home a cross to lift Norwich City into the Premier League, as the Canaries topped Portsmouth 1-0. Jackson has been on fire lately, scoring nine goals in the past seven matches as Norwich surged into the top flight for the first time since 2005.
The Canadian striker and his side have taken similar paths over the past few years. Norwich were languishing in League One as recently as last season, while Jackson was a star with Rushden & Diamonds in the English fifth division three short years ago. Both have risen quickly through the ranks and earned their ticket into the biggest league on the planet.
Another Canuck striker found himself on the score sheet last weekend. Tomasz Radzinski, the 37-year-old former Canadian international, is still going strong in Belgium, leading his side Lierse SK in scoring this past season.
Radzinski scored the second of Lierse’s goals in a 3-0 win over Cercle Brugge in the Belgian postseason Europa League qualifying tournament. He also assisted on the opening goal, helping lead Lierse to the top of Group A.
A few other Canadians were part of winning sides in tournament play this weekend. Mason Trafford and Luca Bellisomo both played the full match for their club IFK Mariehamn, who routed JIPPO 4-0 in Finnish Cup play.
Also, former MLSer Chris Pozniak started for FK Haugesund in their 10-0 romp over lower-tier Vaulen IL in the Norwegian Cup.
Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Issey Nakajima-Farran played 70 minutes for AC Horsens, who battled Brøndby to a scoreless draw in the Danish Superligaen.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Atiba Hutchinson went 90 minutes for PSV Eindhoven in a 2-1 victory over Vitesse. It was PSV’s final home match of the season, with the side sitting in third place in the Eredivisie. With one match remaining and three points out of first, PSV have an outside shot at catching league leaders FC Twente.
Over in Germany, FC Augsburg remain on pace to gain promotion into the Bundesliga. Marcel de Jong returned from injury and logged 90 minutes at left back for the club as they drew 1-1 with FC Energie Cottbus. Fellow Canadian defender Adam Straith was on the bench for Cottbus.
Tosaint Ricketts started for Romanian side FC Politehnica Timişoara, who were 2-0 victors over Braşov. Ricketts played 85 minutes.
In Turkey, Josh Simpson and Manisaspor won 3-1 versus Eskişehirspor in Superliga action, with Simpson going the distance in the midfield.
Over in Serbia, goalkeeper Milan Borjan allowed a couple of goals in FK Rad’s 2-0 loss to Vojvodina on Saturday.
Half a world away, midfielder Matt Lam went 77 minutes for JEF United Ichihara Chiba in a J. League 2 loss to Tokushima Vortis, 1-0.