American Exports: Altidore strikes in AZ debut
AMSTERDAM — AZ Alkmaar debutant Jozy Altidore grabbed the American Exports headlines on Sunday, coming off the bench to nod home the late capper in a 3-1 Eredivisie opening day victory over PSV Eindhoven.
Having come on after 65 minutes, the US striker wasted little time in opening his Dutch account. On the counter, Altidore timed his run into the area to perfection and kissed home an Adam Maher right-wing cross. AZ lost skipper Nicklas Moisander to a second yellow card shortly thereafter, but held on well to snap the Cheese Farmers’ five-game winless streak against PSV. Altidore went into the book near full time.
It was also the dawn of a new season for Saint-Étienne in Ligue 1, with Carlos Bocanegra sporting the armband in a 2-1 win at Bordeaux. With regular captain Loïc Perrin unavailable, the US skipper assumed the role, lining up at left back for the first time since May.
Over in the Swedish Allsvenskan, Alejandro Bedoya dropped back to fill in with strong 90 minutes in defensive midfield as Örebro routed Häcken 4-0. The visitors had come in with victories in four straight and six of seven, but the improving Örebro provided little hospitality. Bedoya & Co. have now won three in a row.
Next door in the Norwegian Tippeligaen, Josh Gatt and league leades Molde FK saw their five-game win streak halted in a hard-fought 3-1 defeat at defending champs Rosenborg. The American winger was most active after the break, but in the end, a dose of poor refereeing and some vacant defending doomed his side.
Across the sea in Denmark, Brøndby captain Clarence Goodson may be in some hot water with the league office for publicly terming the referee's performance “scandalous” after a 2-1 loss at Odense BK. His ire was drawn when just past the hour of a 1-1 game, center official Michael Svendsen sent Brøndby's Anders Randrup off with a controversial penalty call.
Michael Parkhurst was on his central defense game as FC Nordsjælland posted their first win of the young season, 2-1, over Silkeborg.
Finally, Brad Rusin and cellar-dwellers HB Køge made a game effort of it but eventually succumbed to three goals over the final 27 minutes of a 4-2 loss to visiting champs FC Copenhagen.