American Exports: Onyewu nets late equalizer for Sporting

AMSTERDAM — Several Americans suited up for some Monday night football in Europe, with Sporting CP defender Oguchi Onyewu putting home a late equalizer of their Taça da Liga group-stage opener at Rio Ave.

The US defender cleaned up a missed attempt by Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the 88th minute for his third goal of the term and second in as many visits to Estádio dos Arcos.

A boat ride away in England, Clint Dempsey and Fulham clawed back late to flip a halftime deficit in topping 10-man Arsenal 2-1. The Texan worked a hard-nosed 90 minutes, going close when he shaved the post with a close-range header midway through the second half. Thanks to Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora tallies over the final five minutes, Fulham hopped two places to 13th.

Zak Whitbread and Norwich City also rallied to win against a shorthanded London side, scoring a 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers. The American pitched in a sturdy effort in defense as the Canaries won their first road game since mid-September to reach ninth place.

The night didn't go as well for Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan, who didn't cover himself in glory on the late insurance goal in a 2-0 win by rude guests Swansea City. The Chicago-area native did register three saves on a night when a couple of his defenders were quite mistake-prone.

Down a level in the Championship, Jonathan Spector saw yellow during 86 minutes at right back, departing just before Birmingham City salvaged a deserved 1-1 share at Peterborough. 

Meanwhile, Conor Doyle was an unused sub as suddenly warming Derby County posted a 1-0 win at Hull City.

Next door in Scotland, Maurice Edu returned to the Rangers starting lineup and contributed a fine assist and harsh booking in 70 minutes of a 3-0 victory over Motherwell. The midfielder's excellent feed that allowed David Healy to give the hosts some breathing room 10 minutes out of intermission. Teammate Carlos Bocanegra also added in a strong outing. The win kept Rangers within two points of first-place nemesis Celtic.

Finally, Bryan Gerzicich and Israeli leaders Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona weathered a home-side storm at second place Ashdod SC and maintained their six-point tabletop cushion. The surprising mites are now unbeaten in their last 17 Ligat Ha'Al matches.


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