American Exports: Rolfe nets brace, Buddle also scores
AMSTERDAM — American Exports were involved in all sorts of excitement on Sunday, headlined by a winning Chris Rolfe double in Aalborg BK's sorely needed 2-1 win over Odense BK.
The Man of the Match opened the scoring by earning and converting a penalty kick just shy of the quarter-hour. The visitors quickly pulled level from the opposite spot, but Rolfe had the last laugh when he fired home from the top of the area six minutes from time to snap Aalborg's five-game SAS Liga win drought.
Meanwhile, Clarence Goodson and Brøndby fell for the fourth time in the last five league games, 2-1 at Silkeborg. After they conceded the deciding goal four minutes from time, the disappointed American captain humbly told assembled reporters to expect better concentration from the team moving forward.
SønderjyskE attacker Conor O'Brien put in six minutes of mop-up duty in a rough 4-1 home loss to AC Horsens.
The second US international to ring the bell on Sunday was to be found in Germany's second flight, where Edson Buddle temporarily gave cellar-dwellers Ingolstadt some hope with a second-half goal in their 3-1 defeat at Alemannia Aachen. The halftime sub temporarily cut the home lead in half by nodding home his team-high sixth of the campaign on 56 minutes.
One flight up in the Bundesliga, Steve Cherundolo had a roller-coaster afternoon as fourth-place Hannover 96 dealt visiting league leaders Bayern Munich a 2-1 loss.
The captain was tripped up in the area by Phillip Lahm midway through the opening frame, allowing Mohammed Abdellaoue to halt Bayern's 771-minute league shutout run from the spot. Near the hour, however, Cherundolo was shown the gate for picking up his second yellow card.
Jermaine Jones went into the book during his full shift as Schalke climbed to third with a 1-0 victory at Bayer Leverkusen. With David Yelldell watching as backup keeper from the home bench, the Miners won the day thanks to an 82nd minute strike by Jefferson Farfán.
Rounding out the American Exports hat trick of scorers was Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona midfielder Bryan Gerzicich, who scored his first goal for the club with a second half bullet header to cap their famous 3-0 away rout of defending champs Maccabi Haifa. The result has the mites on a three-game win streak, unbeaten in seven and up to fourth place in Israel.
Over in Scotland's Premier League, Carlos Bocanegra notched an assist and Maurice Edu matched him with 90 solid minutes as Rangers maintained a nine-point league lead thanks to a 2-0 win at Hearts. The US skipper notched the helper when his 72nd minute long ball was expertly re-routed to the net by Nikica Jelavić.
Next door in the EPL, Fulham's Clint Dempsey picked up an assist, but the points went to Tim Howard and Everton in a 3-1 road raid.
The US No. 1 needed just three saves to backstop the Toffees to their first win in four. Howard was only beaten when Dempsey played in Costa Rica ace Bryan Ruiz for a dazzling chip on 67 minutes.
Tottenham netminder Brad Friedel benefited from his four fine saves and a Rafael van der Vaart brace to best former employers Blackburn 2-1. Spurs, who now have five wins and a draw from their last six league games, moved up to fifth place.
Down one floor in the Championship, Jonathan Spector was an unused sub as rude guests Birmingham City topped Bristol City 2-0.
Heading to Serie A, Michael Bradley had one lapse in an otherwise solid showing and it cost Chievo in a 1-0 loss at Inter Milan. The defensive midfielder stayed in front of mark Thiago Motta on a late first half corner kick, but negelcted to jump as his opposite nodded home the lone goal of the game.
Eredivisie action saw Jozy Altidore work 89 solid minutes as AZ Alkmaar moved clear at the top with a 1-0 home squeaker over Roda JC. The striker ended up a bit frustrated, with a compelling penalty shout ignored before the break and a close offside flag waving off a goal after it.
Across the border in the Jupiler League, Sacha Kljestan pitched in 62 minutes, but departed before early pace setters Anderlecht rallied for a 2-1 win at Westerlo. The Mauves have now won six straight in the league and 10 in a row overall to move four points above the chasing pack.