American Exports: Dempsey bags equalizer on Chelsea
AMSTERDAM — Several Americans suited up for some Monday night football across the pond, headlined by Clint Dempsey kissing home the late equalizer in a 1-1 derby draw with Chelsea at Craven Cottage.
Eight minutes from time, the US star rose highest to nod home a corner kick off the back of Gary Cahill. With the ever-dangerous Dempsey climbing into a fourth place tie in the EPL goal chart on his career-best 16th of the season, Fulham rose to ninth in the table.
Elsewhere, Everton netminder Tim Howard continued his mastery over Sunderland in a 4-0 win at Goodison. The backstop had an easy night at the office in posting his third shutout win in four. Thanks to four second-half goals from four different players, the Toffees moved clear of archrivals Liverpool for seventh place.
Eric Lichaj saw yellow during a solid left back outing in Aston Villa's 1-1 draw with Stoke City. Robert Huth's goal 19 minutes from the end kept the home side winless over the last four and in 15th place.
Two saves were not enough for Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel in a 2-1 home loss to Norwich City. With just one win from the last four at White Hart Lane, Spurs now only lead Newcastle for the EPL's fourth and final Champions League slot by goal differential.
Speaking of the Magpies, Bolton defender Tim Ream was crisply toasted on both second-half goal plays in a 2-0 defeat at St. James' Park. The former New York Red Bull helped open the gate for Hatem Ben Arfa's incredible 73rd-minute solo tally and was turned harshly by the set-up man on Newcastle's capper.
A level down in the Championship, Robbie Rogers came on for the final 13 minutes as fading Leeds United dropped a 2-0 decision at home to Derby County. The Whites have lost three straight and four of a winless five to fall eight points off the promotion playoff zone with but four games to play.
Another flight below in League One, Mike Grella hit the 40th-minute opener as Bury moved close to clinching survival with a 4-1 rout of Colchester. The forward capped a fine first half of work with a doorstep finish for his first goal in six games for the Shakers.
Over in the Danish Superliga, Clarence Goodson and Brøndby could not hold the lead in a 1-1 home draw with HB Køge. Brad Rusin was an unused sub for the last-place visitors.
Conor O'Brien went this distance in midfield as SønderjyskE rallied for a 1-1 draw at Odense BK. Unbeaten in four, the away side nudged themselves nine points clear of the trap door.
In nearby norway, Josh Gatt squandered a golden chance to score just after the break, but it mattered not as Tippeligaen holders Molde FK topped Brann 2-1. Through three games, the champs are one point from the perch.
Hønefoss netminder Steve Clark kept the team unbeaten in 2012 with a few fine saves in their 1-1 draw against Fredrikstad.
Both defender Sean Cunningham and midfielder Ricardo Clark were among Stabæk's most solid performers in a 3-0 loss at leaders Tromsø. The former Houston Dynamo ace went close to scoring twice in the second half.
Finally, in the Dutch second flight, Charles Kazlauskas assisted on Helmond Sport's second in a 3-0 victory at AGOVV Apeldoorn. The right winger teed up Eric Quekel on the edge of intermission as the rampant visitors recorded their eighth consecutive win to punch their promotion playoff ticket.