American Exports: Ream makes Bolton debut in victory
AMSTERDAM — Three Americans debuted for new clubs with varying degrees of success in Europe on Saturday, with Tim Ream starting his Bolton tenure with a solid full shift in their 2-0 FA Cup win at Millwall.
The erstwhile New York Red Bull generally looked assured as the 2011 semifinalists booked a return place in the elite eight through goals by Ryo Miyaichi and David N'Gog. Ream was beaten just once on the day, allowing Millwall top scorer Darius Henderson to flash a header wide shortly after the break.
Also advancing in the FA Cup were Everton, who got five saves from Tim Howard in a 2-0 victory over nearby visitors Blackpool.
With Landon Donovan missing out due to the flu, the Toffees jumped into the driver seat early thanks to strikes from Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi inside six minutes. Howard preserved the clean sheet near time by pushing a Lomana Tresor LuaLua effort off the post. The US No. 1 has now registered four straight wins and 346 consecutive shutout minutes at Goodison Park.
Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City forced a home replay with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
The handyman was out of the lineup for the first time since October, but entered in the 12th minute as a substitute for injured right back Stephen Carr. The Brums, who have advanced each of the previous three times the teams met for a tourney match in Birmingham, will host Chelsea at St. Andrews in a March 6 replay.
The quarterfinal round of the FA Cup will be drawn on Sunday evening at London's new Olympic Velodrome.
Meanwhile, in the Championship, halftime entrant Robbie Findley snapped a goal drought dating back to November to cap Nottingham Forest's 2-0 victory over guests Coventry City.
With six minutes to play, the US forward ran onto a cross from Ireland winger Andy Reid and deposited his sixth goal of the campaign across all competitions. The win, which halted Forest's eight-game home slide, lifted the club out of the relegation zone for the first time in 13 league rounds.
Robbie Rogers made an abbreviated 12-minute debut off the bench for Leeds United in a 3-2 comeback victory against visiting Doncaster. The winger was stretchered off after a stoppage-time clash of heads with Rovers midfielder Tommy Spurr.
Over the border in Scotland, Maurice Edu was named Man of the Match in a losing cause as 10-man Rangers dropped a 1-0 home decision to Kilmarnock in their first match under administration.
With Carlos Bocanegra also on as one of few teammates to contribute a solid effort, Edu picked up an 87th-minute yellow card that will see him suspended for next Sunday's match at Inverness CT. The defeat snapped Rangers' eight-game win streak at home against Kilmarnock and drifted them 14 points back of leaders Celtic.
Saturday's third American debutant was to be found in Belgium, where Mikkel Diskerud worked the first 75 minutes of Gent's hard-fought 1-1 draw at Lokeren.
The Stabæk loan man mostly kept it simple and clean, but shortly before departing, had a shot at the winner that was blocked in the area on what was adjudged by the ref as ball-to-hand. The result saw Gent miss a chance to tentatively reclaim second place.
Over in the Bundesliga, Timothy Chandler supplied 82 minutes of attacking pressure from right wing as FC Nürnberg earned a leave-it-late 2-1 victory against FC Cologne.
In the 28th minute, the US international's shot from distance caromed off a defender to Alexander Esswein, who duly fired home the opener.
Alfredo Morales went unused in Hertha Berlin's 1-0 home defeat to holders Borussia Dortmund, and David Yelldell did likewise in Bayer Leverkusen's 4-1 romp over Augsburg.
In Israel's honor division, Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona pushed their league lead up to a dozen points with a 2-0 triumph at Maccabi Petah Tikva.
The stingy season darlings ran their league and overall unbeaten runs to 24 and 28 games, respectively. Hapoel also recorded their seventh shutout victory from a 13-match road run without a loss in Ligat Ha'Al play.
Gerzicich & Co. were aided by Leo Krupnick's Maccabi Netanya, who used a late goal to bump off title chaser Ashdod FC 1-0.
Finally, in France's Ligue 1, Charlie Davies was an unused substitute as Sochaux stayed bottom with a 0-0 draw against visiting Auxerre and Quentin Westberg followed suit in Évian's 2-2 share at Caen.