American Exports: Altidore nets one, but AZ fall
AMSTERDAM — It turned out to be a winless Sunday for Americans in Europe, headlined by Jozy Altidore hitting AZ Alkmaar's lone goal in a humbling 5-1 defeat at Heerenveen.
On 20 minutes, the US international worked a fiendish one-two with Brett Holman before skipping into the space needed to slam home his fifth league goal of the season. The visitors eventually were stung repeatedly by Heerenveen's counterattack and missed out on the chance to go clear at the top.
Across the water in England's Premier League, the home woes of Tim Howard and Everton continued with a 1-0 defeat against Stoke City. The Toffees again dominated without scoring, and a 15th-minute Robert Huth goalmouth redirection was enough to doom them to a fourth loss in the last five at Goodison Park.
One level below in the Championship, Birmingham City midfielder Jonathan Spector was removed in a 74th-minute tactical switch as the 10-man visitors dropped a 1-0 decision at Cardiff City.
Over in Serie A, Michael Bradley put in another strong shift as Chievo settled for a 0-0 home draw with Atalanta. Now without a goal for 221 minutes, the Flying Donkeys slipped to 11th.
Turning to Bundesliga action, Timothy Chandler saw yellow as FC Nürnberg fell 2-0 at Hamburg. Hovering just above the relegation mire, the Frankenstadion crew has now dropped five straight league contests away from home.
Nearby in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan picked up a yellow card near the end of Anderlecht's frustrating 0-0 stalemate with guests OH Leuven. The leaders maintained a three-point advantage despite dropping points at Constant Vanden Stock for the first time since August.
Danish SAS Liga play saw right back Michael Parkhurst denied a winner near the death as FC Nordsjælland were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting FC Midtjylland. Despite the result, the Wild Tigers stayed just four points off title pace.
Captain Clarence Goodson led by example as Brøndby rallied in stoppage time for a 1-1 share at bottom feeders HB Køge, who received 16 relief minutes in defense from Brad Rusin. The point moved the visitors, who remain winless in eight league road matches, to six points above the danger zone.