American Exports: Parkhurst assists on winner for Nordsjaelland
AMSTERDAM – It was an eventful Sunday for Americans working overseas, headlined by Michael Parkhurst's winning assist as FC Nordsjælland improbably grabbed the Superliga perch a game from the finish line with a 1-0 victory at Clarence Goodson's Brøndby.
Just before the hour, the Parkhurst crossed from this day's left back station for Kasper Lorentzen to bury the game's lone goal. Scant moments later, he had shots on goal denied twice inside a three-minute span. Goodson had a strong game in the opposing defense, but could not guard Brøndby from a third straight loss.
In hanging on for their third straight road win, FCN extended their unbeaten run to eight games. The result boosted the Wild Tigers into a two-point lead over beaten holders FC Copenhagen, giving them the chance to celebrate their first Danish crown with a home win over AC Horsens on Wednesday night.
Around the league, Conor O'Brien worked an active shift in midfield as SønderjyskE ensured themselves of no less than an eighth place finish by rallying late for a 1-1 draw at Silkeborg. Thanks to Jarl André Storbæk's 77th minute penalty kick, the visitors posted their fourth draw in five.
HB Køge defender Brad Rusin was robbed of a late equalizer as the bottom feeders suffered a tight 1-0 loss at Aalborg BK. The former Carolina Railhawk had three cracks at goal in the game, including a saved header nine minute from time.
Across the water in Norway, Josh Gatt bagged the first-half winner as Tippeligaen champs Molde FK stayed a point off the top with a 2-0 victory at Sandnes.
The winger deposited a Davy Claude Angan set-up on 26 minutes for his third goal in seven games this season. It was the fourth win in a row for second place Molde, and their first on the road this season.
Ricardo Clark and Sean Cunningham each saw yellow as a mourning Stabæk side fell 2-0 at home to FK Haugesund. Still reeling from the death of defender Tor-Marius Gromstad on Monday, the Blue Ones lost their eighth straight match.
Elsewhere, Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting CP had an off day in dropping the Taça de Portugal final 1-0 to Académica.
Playing just seven miles away from Lisbon, the Lions moved the US center back to striker in the waning moments. His late flick-on nearly resulted in an equalizer, but it was not to be, as Sporting settled for a Europa League playoff round ticket.
In Eredivisie promotion/relegation final action, Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport narrowly missed the elevator up with a 2-2 second leg draw at top flight survivors VVV Venlo.
Trailing 2-1 from the home leg, the underdogs brought the Wisconsin native back from suspension to work right back. After conceding early, they hit twice to level the tie on aggregate, but VVV hero Danny Holla's second of the day from the spot on 68 minutes meant Helmond Sport would stumble at the final promotion hurdle for the second consecutive season.