American Exports: Dempsey scores again in Fulham win
AMSTERDAM — The goals kept coming on a highly successful Saturday for Americans in Europe, with Clint Dempsey nodding the winner and adding an assist in Fulham's 2-0 victory over Bolton.
Voted by the home fans as Man of the Match for the second straight EPL match at Craven Cottage, the US star broke the ice in the 32nd minute by expertly turning home a Bryan Ruiz cross from near the spot.
Mere seconds after scoring, Dempsey returned the favor, his seeing-eye through ball unleashing the Costa Rica winger to chip the goalkeeper for a highlight-reel second. Dempsey now has five goals and four assists on the league season, with each total tops on the team.
Also in the Premier League, Zak Whitbread worked a strong shift in defense as Norwich City continued to show top-flight pluck with a 1-1 draw at Tim Howard's Everton. The Canaries climbed a spot to ninth, despite being dominated to the point that the US netminder faced just the one shot on goal.
Next door in Scotland, Carlos Bocanegra scored the opener in Rangers' 2-1 win over Inverness CT.
The US defender fired home a knockdown 10 minutes past intermission for his third goal since arriving at Ibrox. Alejandro Bedoya worked an eager 52 minutes before departing with a knock, while Maurice Edu was removed after a sub-par first half.
Over in Serie A, Michael Bradley worked a solid 90 minutes as Chievo snapped a three-game slide with a 2-0 home victory against Cagliari. The Flying Donkeys tentatively soared seven places up to eighth, extending their Bentegodi shutout streak to 307 minutes.
Turning to the Bundesliga, Jermaine Jones went the distance as Schalke kept title pace in third place with a 5-0 rout of Werder Bremen. The Miners won for the third straight time in league play and fourth consecutive home game overall.
The Hoffenheim duo of Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams were denied a sorely needed victory when the hosts leaked a last-gasp 1-1 equalizer to Hertha Berlin. In a match where each side finished a man short, Johnson worked a quiet afternoon at left back and Williams offered 24 minutes of relief in midfield.
David Yelldell served as backup 'keeper for Bayer Leverkusen's galling 3-0 home loss to FC Nürnberg, who were without the suspended Timothy Chandler.
Finally, in Israel's top tier, Bryan Gerzicich ably patrolled central park as shock league leaders Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona moved four points clear at the summit with a 1-0 win over guests Hapoel Haifa. The supposed mites have won five straight and are now unbeaten in 14.