American Exports: Kljestan takes armband, maintains form
AMSTERDAM – Several Americans took part in Tuesday action across the pond, with Sacha Kljestan assisting on the extra-time winner as Anderlecht moved on to the Beker van België quarterfinals by topping visitors Mechelen 2-0.
The in-form US midfielder was handed both the armband and restart duties when Mauves captain Lucas Biglia departed in the 70th minute. Early in the second overtime session, Kljestan's corner kick serve picked out Dennis Praet, who kissed home the winner at the near post. The American now has a goal and three helpers in six games across all competitions this month.
Over in England's Premier League, Brad Guzan extended his shutout streak to 196 minutes and Eric Lichaj ably worked 66 minutes of relief at left back as Aston Villa jumped out of the danger zone with a 1-0 home win over Reading.
The 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year required three saves to notch his third clean sheet from five November games. The victory was Villa's first in their friendly confines since mid-September.
One flight down in the Championship, Jonathan Spector made a strong return to midfield in Birmingham City's 1-1 rally draw at Blackpool. The result halted a two-match losing skid and nudged the 19th-place Brums six points clear of the trap door.
Zak Whitbread was sturdy at the back as Leicester City fell 1-0 at Leeds United. The Foxes slipped to fourth place thanks to their first loss in five.
Turning to the Bundesliga, Steve Cherundolo rebounded well from a poor weekend showing to help Hannover 96 get back on track at home with a 2-0 blanking of Greuther Fürth. The Reds snapped a two-game league slide to hang onto sixth place.
Jermaine Jones had a rare off night in Schalke's 3-1 defeat at Hamburg. The Miners dropped their third straight on the road to fell 10 points off the top in third place.
One floor down in the 2.Bundesliga, Bobby Wood went the full route in his first start of the season for 1860 Munich, a 1-0 win over Paderborn. The forward put one of his two shots on frame as the Lions climbed to fifth place.
Finally, in Spain, Oguchi Onyewu went all 90 as Málaga advanced to the Copa del Rey sweet 16 despite a 1-0 home loss to third-division Cacereño. Their 4-3 win in the first leg of the tie allowed them to go through by virtue of the away goals rule. They now await Wednesday's winner between 2012 runners-up Athletic Bilbao and Eibar in the next round.