American Exports: Kljestan misses title, Clark tastes relegation
AMSTERDAM — Americans experienced the range of emotions and results as European action winds down and final verdicts are handed down on the Old Continent on Saturday.
Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht saw their chances of retaining their title go up in smoke on Saturday night with a late 2-1 loss at rivals Standard Liège. The former Chivas USA man nearly tied the game in the last minute of regulation, only to see his dangerous free kick denied by the home 'keeper. Combined with Genk's thrilling win at Gent, the outgoing champions must settle for third place and a Europa League berth regardless of their final day result next week.
Over in the English Premier League, Jermaine Jones saw yellow during a solid 74 minutes as Blackburn Rovers battled Manchester United to a 1-1 draw. The result kept Rovers one point above the trap door with a game to play, while simultaneously crowning the Red Devils as champions.
Everton's American goalkeeper Tim Howard was edged in a real goaltender's duel at West Bromwich Albion, with the Toffees falling 1-0. Though just outdone by opposite Scott Carson on the day, the US star made the highlight reel with a dynamite stop on Chris Brunt's second-half free kick.
Marcus Hahnemann served as back-up netminder for Wolverhampton, who maintained their chase for survival with a 3-1 victory at Sunderland.
Closing day in the Bundesliga saw Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 secure fourth place and a Europa League playoff round invite with a 3-1 defeat of Timothy Chandler's FC Nürnberg. Both US defenders went the distance, with the Reds captain picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
Elsewhere, Ricardo Clark sat out as Eintracht Frankfurt were relegated by a 3-1 loss at champs Borussia Dortmund.
In Allsvenskan play, Halmstads defender Ryan Miller worked the final eight minutes to help the hosts climb out the cellar with a 1-0 win over Mjällby. Samuel Petrone was an unused sub for the beaten visitors.
Over in Israel's Ligat Ha'al, Leo Krupnick and Maccabi Netanya are left clinging to slim Europa League hopes after a disappointing 4-0 home loss to B'Nei Yehuda Tel Aviv.
Finally, Eugene Starikov entered at the break to help 10-man Tom Tomsk rally from two down for a 2-2 draw at FC Kuban Krasnodar. The youngster nearly tied the game moments before the visitors equalized from the spot, but his textbook corner kick header was well saved.