American Exports: Dempsey sets up winner vs. West Ham
AMSTERDAM – It was a hot and cold Sunday for Americans in Europe, highlighted by Clint Dempsey's stylish match-winning assist in a 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur triumph over derby guests West Ham United.
Scant moments after rattling the frame with a laser blast, the two-time World Cup veteran native raced toward the area before chipping a through ball for Gareth Bale to bag Spurs' second. With Brad Friedel serving as backup netminder, Dempsey also drew two saves and helped set up the home side's insurance tally in their first EPL win in four.
Meanwhile, Bundesliga action saw Fabian Johnson bag the consolation goal in a 2-1 Hoffenheim loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
With club and country mate Daniel Williams a bench spectator, the left back cut in from his flank near the hour to slam his second league goal of the term through a crowd. A second straight home loss dipped Hoffenheim into the relegation playoff spot.
On the Serie A card, Michael Bradley put in another sturdy performance as AS Roma edged out a 1-0 win at Pescara in the first-ever match between the clubs. The US midfielder also went into the book as the Giallorossi tentatively moved past city rivals Lazio into fifth place.
In the Eredivisie, Jozy Altidore had an early goal disallowed and it only got worse from there for injury-hit AZ Alkmaar in a 2-0 home loss to Feyenoord.
The Cheese Farmers top gun appeared to properly beat two defenders to fire AZ ahead after just three minutes, but the referee ruled his arm aided the take-down touch. Though they've now dropped three straight Eredivisie home games for the first time since March 2001, AZ remained 12th in the table.
Down south in Portugal, Tony Taylor worked the final 13 minutes to no avail as Estoril lost 1-0 at Nacional. Despite having their two-game win streak snapped, the visitors held firm in sixth place.
Heading back north to the Danish Superliga, Michael Parkhurst did double duty as FC Nordsjaellend lost ground in the title race with a 1-0 defeat at Esbjerg. The starting right back shufted inside as injury cover 10 minutes past the break, but the damage had been done in the holders' first league loss in six.
Conor O'Brien was on the for the final quarter-hour as SønderjyskE blew a halftime lead to fall 2-1 against visiting FC Copenhagen. The home side has now surrendered a total of four leads during its four-match losing slide.
Meanwhile, skipper Clarence Goodson watched from the dugout as Brøndby scored a 2-0 win over AC Horsens. The points lifted the Lads from the Western Outskirts out of the basement, but they remain a point away from the safety zone.
Finally, Israeli Ligat Ha-Al action saw Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona posted their first road win in nearly three months with a 2-0 decision at Bnei Yehuda. The defending champs climbed a rung to seventh place.