American Exports: Friedel triumphs over Donovan, Howard
AMSTERDAM — Brad Friedel emerged victorious from his first-ever club clash with Landon Donovan and simultaneously ran his unbeaten streak against Tim Howard to six games in a 2-0 home victory over Everton on Wednesday.
The Tottenham No. 1 was not pressed into so much as a single save, while guest Howard rang up a pair and also made some key advancements off his line against a dominant Spurs side. The Toffees 'keeper was at his best to stop a deflected Gareth Bale drive just after intermission.
Spurs took the lead in the 35th minute when Aaron Lennon turned Leighton Baines inside out to slot a tricky low shot short side. Tottenham left back Benoît Assou-Ekotto doubled the margin just past the hour with a deflected blast from distance.
Donovan, meanwhile, pitched in another solid full shift, though his influence waned a bit after the break. The on-loan LA Galaxy attacker was shown a harsh yellow (picture at right) for minimal contact near the break and delivered seven dangerous balls into the area via corner kicks and crosses.
With the win, Spurs drew level with Manchester United for second spot in the Premiership table. The North London side hasn't won the league since 1961.
One league below in the Championship, Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City used one of two games in hand to jump five spots to ninth place with a 2-1 win over visiting Ipswich Town. The Brums pushed their home unbeaten streak to 13 games, taking full points when Nikola Zigic bagged his second of the match in stoppage time.
In Portuguese Cup semifinal action, Oguchi Onyewu remained unbeaten at home as a Sporting CP defender after the Lions roared back from two down with 15 minutes left for a 2-2 opening leg draw with Nacional.
The US defender — who saw yellow midway through the second frame — appeared to tie the match late from a restart, but the teammate who flicked on to set up his close range burial was ruled offside. Nevertheless, Sporting rescued a share thanks to Stijn Schaars' seeing-eye free kick with virtually the last kick of the game.