American Exports: Americans dumped out of Europa
AMSTERDAM — It was a rough Thursday for Americans playing in Europe, with Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 among the ousted after a 2-1 Europa League defeat at quarterfinal second-leg hosts Atlético Madrid.
The Reds pulled to within a goal of knotting the tie with 10 minutes to play, but Diego's flip pass over Cherundolo was smashed home by Falcao near time to give the 2010 tourney champs a 4-2 aggregate win.
Elsewhere, a good Jermaine Jones effort was wasted as Schalke bowed out after a 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao.
After being denied on an area shot in the 10th minute, pressure from the US international forced the turnover for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's opener on the half hour. Jones also participated in the build leading Raúl's 52nd-minute cracker, but the hosts equalized in short order both times to complete a 6-4 aggregate victory.
Jozy Altidore worked 68 minutes as AZ Alkmaar splashed out of the draw with a 4-0 loss at Valencia. The result gave the Spaniards advancement to the semifinals by a 5-2 count.
With the visitors struggling to connect passes forward much of the night, the striker was largely reduced to competent hold-up play. The one time Altidore got behind the defense to face the keeper alone, his advance was halted by an offside flag replays showed to be badly in error.
The lone club with an American headed to the Europa League final four is Sporting CP, thanks to a clinching 1-1 draw at Metalist Kharkiv. Defender Oguchi Onyewu is not expected to be fit for their semifinal matchup with Athletic Bilbao, which starts on April 19.
Things didn't go much better for the Americans in Denmark, but Conor O'Brien went the distance in holding midfield as SønderjyskE bumped off visiting form side FC Nordsjælland 1-0.
Wild Tigers right back Michael Parkhurst was removed for an attacker in the 85th minute. SønderjyskE's third straight win pushed them nine points clear of the relegation mire, while second-place FCN drifted six points away from the top.
The five-game unbeaten run of Clarence Goodson and Brøndby came to an end with a 3-1 loss at table-toppers FC Copenhagen. The Lads from the Western Outskirts came into the night on a three-game winning streak, but left with their fourth consecutive away derby defeat.
Brad Rusin came on to play target man for the final eight minutes in bottom side HB Køge's 4-1 home loss to Lyngby.