Canadian Exports: Borjan, Sivasspor aim for Champs Lge.
Things are looking mostly up for Canada's contingent in Europe, perhaps more so for goalkeeper Milan Borjan and his Sivasspor team than anyone else. On the back of a deep cup run, Borjan & Co. are now looking to make their mark on the Turkish Süper Lig.
Having booked a spot in the semifinals of the Turkish Cup, Borjan (above) backstopped a 2-0 win over possible cup opponents Trabzonspor in league play on Sunday. The result sees Sivasspor move up to the eighth spot, just six points back of second place and a berth in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Over in the Netherlands, Atiba Hutchinson and PSV Eindhoven dropped two points on Saturday as they could only muster a 2-2 draw with Heerenveen. As usual, Hutchinson played 90 minutes in the game.
Despite the tie, PSV maintained a three-point lead atop the Eredivisie standings as second-place Ajax also only managed a draw in their game on Sunday.
Across the North Sea in England, forward Simeon Jackson made just his second league appearance of 2013 for Norwich City. Jackson has been a fixture on the Canaries’ bench in the league and was introduced in the 76th minute on Saturday in Norwich’s scoreless draw with Fulham. Norwich currently occupy 14th place in the Premier League.
While Jackson may not be finding the net these days for Norwich, Canadians in England’s lower divisions had a positive goalscoring weekend despite some less than favorable results with their clubs.
In the Championship, defender David Edgar opened the scoring for Burnley against Bolton Wanderers. But while it was a good day on the scoresheet for Edgar, his team couldn’t hold onto the lead, conceding twice to lose 2-1. Burnley slipped to ninth place and are four points back of sixth place, the last promotion playoff spot available.
Down in League One, forward Marcus Haber scored for the second game in a row and sixth time this season on Saturday for Stevenage against Carlisle United. Haber's strike, which came after two early Carlisle goals was not enough, however, as it proved to be the last goal in his team's 2-1 defeat. The 24-year-old also started and played 84 minutes on Tuesday as Stevenage lost 2-0 to Brentford.
In Germany, Marcel de Jong and Augsburg have gone five games without a loss in the Bundesliga and have seen their chances of survival in the top flight improve just slightly. The Bavarian outfit tied their last game before the winter break and have come back with a win and three more draws, including Saturday's 1-1 draw with Mainz in which de Jong went 90 minutes, to bring them within one point of getting out of the automatic relegation places.
In the 2.Bundesliga, midfielder Julian de Guzman picked up his first win as a member of Jahn Regensburg, playing the whole game on Sunday as they beat Bochum 2-0. Regensburg remain in last place with 16 points in 21 games, but are just two points back of getting out of automatic relegation danger.
Defender Kevin McKenna and FC Köln are steadily moving up the table, and have lost a game in the league since early November. McKenna mostly played 90 minutes on the backline Saturday in the team's scoreless draw with Energie Cottbuss, which extended its unbeaten run to nine games and moved them up to seventh place.
Look to the very top of the 2. Bundesliga, however, and you will find Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Eintracht Braunschweig. Die Löwen have lost just once in the league this season with Edwini-Bonsu appearing seven times, most recently as a substitute in the team's 1-1 draw with VfR Aalen.
Down in the 3. Liga, defender Adam Straith hasn’t seen much action with 1. FC Saarbrucken, but made his 13th appearance of the season when he played all 90 minutes on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Wacker Burghausen. The loss left the club in 15th place out of 20 and without a win since November.
In Portugal, Pedro Pacheco’s Santa Clara haven’t won in five games and slipped to 12th place in Portugal’s Liga de Honra thanks to their 1-0 loss to Leixões on Sunday, in which Pacheco played the full game.
Turning east to Cyprus, Issey Nakajima-Farran’s Alki remain just above the relegation zone thanks to their 2-1 loss to Apollon on Sunday. Nakajima-Farran came on in the 75th minute but couldn't help his club stave off defeat. They currently sit 12th in the 14-team First Division, seven points clear 13th place and the relegation spots.