American Exports: Everton draw despite Howard's gaffe
AMSTERDAM — It was a rather trying Saturday for several American exports, with Tim Howard's major blushes saved by Everton bagging a late 1-1 equalizer at Wigan.
With Landon Donovan contributing a decent shift in midfield, the Toffees were able to extend their unbeaten streak against the nearby rival Latics to seven when substitute Victor Anichebe applied the hammerhead to a corner kick seven minutes from time.
Only seven minutes prior to that, Howard made one of the biggest gaffes of his Premier League career to concede a Phil Neville own-goal. The US No. 1 appeared to have an easy grab on Jean Beausejour's deflected shot, but a funny hop off the turf and an instant's lack of concentration conspired to let the ball straight through his hands.
The draw both dipped Everton to 11th place and pushed their league unbeaten run to four games.
Elsewhere, Zak Whitbread departed in the 39th minute with a hamstring injury during Norwich City's 2-0 defeat of visiting Bolton.
With neither Stuart Holden nor Tim Ream dressed for Wanderers, the Canaries defender whistled a header wide of the away goal only moments before coming off the field. Norwich bagged a pair late to hold firm in ninth place.
Despite a good effort from Clint Dempsey, Fulham were on the wrong end of a 3-0 decision at table toppers Manchester City. A questionable penalty call and unfortunate own-goal were both charged to Cottagers defender Chris Baird in the opening half-hour, as the visitors fell to 14th place.
Down in the Championship, Jonathan Spector and fifth-place Birmingham City had their roll slowed by a 0-0 home stalemate against Southampton.
The Brums right back came close to an early assist when his free kick serve was nodded just wide in the ninth minute. While Birmingham saw their four-game win streak halted, they remain without a loss in their last eight league tilts.
Fresh Leeds United catch Robbie Rogers remains in wait of his debut after going unused in a 3-0 victory at Bristol Rovers. By winning their first road match since November, the Whites pulled to within two points of the promotion playoff zone.
Over in the Bundesliga, Steve Cherundolo went the distance at his customary right back slot as rude guests Hannover 96 topped first-time starter Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin 1-0. The away captain saw yellow during his active shift, while Morales was generally tidy at the opposite right back post.
Now just a point out of the Europa League slots in seventh, the Reds turned the tables on Hertha to snap a four-game run of shutout losses at Olympic Stadium. The slumping hosts dropped to 15th, just two points above the trap door.
Daniel Williams returned to his usual defensive midfield station and Fabian Johnson slid to work left back as Hoffenheim hosted a see-saw 2-2 draw with Augsburg.
The latter lost the scorer at the back post as the visitors opened in the 31st minute. Williams, meanwhile, shipped the pass that helped earn the penalty for Hoffenheim's second goal and picked up a yellow card that has him one from a suspension.
Over in Portugal, Oguchi Onyewu went from two-goal hero last weekend to sent-off goat as Sporting CP's struggles continued with a 1-0 home loss to Gil Vicente in the Taça de Portugal.
The center back tripped up Hugo Viera just inside the box in the 53rd minute, earning an early shower with his second booking of the night in the process. Claudio obliged with the away winner by netting the subsequent spot kick as the Lions fell out of the competition.
Finally, Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar saw their Eredivisie contest at ADO Den Haag postponed due to frozen field conditions.