American Exports: Bradley, Kljestan shine in Cup action
AMSTERDAM – It was a largely successful Wednesday night for European clubs employing Americans in cup duty, with AS Roma midfielder Michael Bradley earning an "MLS assist" on the 1-0 extra-time winner away to Coppa Italia quarterfinal hosts Fiorentina.
Six minutes into the first overtime session, the US ace released Miralem Pjanic into the right corner with a perfectly weighted pass that sliced through three defenders. The Bosnia star promptly centered for Mattia Destro to bury the only goal of a game that saw Roma finish with 10 men.
Bradley, who went the distance in solid fashion, also saw yellow 10 minutes after halftime. The Giallorossi will host Inter Milan in the first leg of their semifinal on Jan. 23.
Turning to Belgian Cup play, Sacha Kljestan patrolled central park as Anderlecht reached the final four with a decisive 1-0 (2-1 aggregate) triumph over second-leg visitors Gent.
The US international picked up a yellow card in the 11th minute, but went the rest of the way without incident as the Mauves set up a first leg date with semifinal foe Genk for Jan. 30 at the Constant Vanden Stock.
Down south in Spain's Copa del Rey quarterfinals, Oguchi Onyewu went unused on the bench as 10-man Málaga pulled off a last-gasp 2-2 draw at holders Barcelona. The scene now shifts to La Rosaleda for the decider on Jan. 24.
Over in FA Cup fourth-round replay action, Sebastian Lletget watched from the bench as West Ham United dropped out with a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.