American Exports: Cherundolo, Hannover into Europa League
AMSTERDAM – The results were mixed on an important Saturday for American exports in Europe, highlighted by Michael Parkhurst setting up the winner as FC Nordsjælland tentatively moved level on points at the top with a 2-0 victory at Lyngby.
Stationed at right back, the US international breached the area to cut back for Søren Christensen's opener just before halftime. Parkhurst's third assist of the season helped the Wild Tigers pull to within goal differential of leaders FC Copenhagen, who play on Sunday.
South of the border in Germany, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 punched their Europa League return ticket by rallying past closing day guests Kaiserslautern 2-1.
The victory assured Die Roten of finishing the season as the lone home unbeaten in all three Bundesliga flights. Andrew Wooten worked the final 22 minutes up front for the relegated Red Devils, who ended up last in the table.
Jermaine Jones sported the captain's armband while helping out in central defense as third place Schalke closed up shop for the term with a 3-2 win at Werder Bremen. Sliding back from midfield to cover a selection crisis, the veteran had a solid day until losing Claudio Pizarro on the home side's late consolation goal.
Fabian Johnson went the distance as 10-man Hoffenheim dropped a 3-1 decision at Hertha Berlin. Thanks to a three-game losing streak, the visitors ended the season in 11th place.
in Portugal, Oguchi Onyewu was the first of two Sporting CP players sent off in a 2-0 loss at rivals Porto. The US defender was shown his second yellow of the night with the game still scoreless in the 67th minute. The result assured the Lions of a fourth place finish and entry to the Europa League playoff round.
Up in Scotland, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu had up-and-down full shifts as Rangers settled for a 0-0 home draw against Motherwell. After Alejandro Bedoya entered on 66 minutes, all three Americans spurned one decent chance to break the deadlock.
In Belgium, Mikkel Diskerud went unused as Gent fell 3-2 to visiting Kortrijk. Losing for the second straight time, the Buffalos missed another chance to grab hold of the last Europa League slot.
Finally, in Israel, Bryan Gerzicich and champions Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona scored a 3-1 victory away to Leo Krupnick's Maccabu Netanya. The defeat was the third in four games for the Diamonds, who are now three points shy of Ligat Ha'Al's last Europa League berth with two games remaining.