American Exports: Ref denies Dempsey first Spurs goal
AMSTERDAM – An extremely close offside flag kept Clint Dempsey from playing the Thursday night goal hero in his first start for Tottenham Hotspur, a 0-0 draw against Europa League group phase opening-night guests Lazio.
Midway through the opening frame, the US star nodded home a Gareth Bale cross, only to have the linesman controversially wave off the goal. Dempsey departed after working a strong 75-minute shift as Spurs moved into a second-place tie in Group J.
Over in Group K, Mikkel Diskerud and Rosenborg jumped into first place with a 2-1 victory away to Terrence Boyd's Rapid Vienna.
In a match played before an empty house due to sanctions for supporter behavior, the RBK time-keeper was subbed out in stoppage time. Meanwhile, Boyd missed the frame on one decent chance near the end of each half, but teammate Alar was the goat after muffing a late spot kick that would have tied the game.
Group L action saw Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 fight back from two down to rescue a 2-2 draw at FC Twente. The right back's 54th-minute foul on Nacer Chadli teed up the Belgium winger to fire home their second from a free kick, but two goals inside six minutes eventually pulled the Reds level.
Also in Group L, Helsingborg midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and Swedish champs fell short in a game of few chances, losing 1-0 at Levante. The US international saw yellow near halftime of his solid outing.
Bryan Gerzicich returned from injury to dress, but went unused as Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona rallied for a 1-1 Group I draw at Athletic Bilbao.
Meanwhile, injured Molde FK winger Josh Gatt missed out on a 2-1 defeat at FC Copenhagen.