Canadian Exports: Kevin McKenna leading streaking FC Koln to Bundesliga promotion spot
A 15-game unbeaten streak has propelled Kevin McKenna and FC Köln into one of the promotion spots in Germany’s 2.Bundesliga.
Though the top two automatic promotion places — Hertha BSC and Eintracht Braunschweig — are likely out of sight, Köln finally moved ahead of Kaiserslautern and into the third-place promotion playoff spot with a 2-1 in over SSV Jahn Regensburg on Sunday. The win was Köln's third in a row, and fourth in five matches.
McKenna scored the opener for Köln while, on the other side, midfielder Julian de Guzman played the full 90 minutes for Regensburg, who look destined for relegation in last place.
Meanwhile, Rob Friend’s resurgence continues with 1860 Munich as he scored his second goal in seven games since joining the club. Friend’s 14th-minute goal was the sole tally in 1860's 1-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue and keeps then five points back of Köln and third place.
In the Dutch Eredivisie, a slip-up by Atiba Hutchinson and PSV Eindhoven on Sunday now sees them three points adrift of first-place Ajax.
PSV could only tie Roda JC 2-2 and that, combined with Ajax’s win, gave the Amsterdam giants sole posession of the league lead. A surging SBV Vitesse also won their sixth in a row and are now tied with PSV for second.
In Turkey, Milan Borjan was in goal on Saturday as his club, Sivasspor, beat Orduspor 3-2. Sivasspor is in 10th place in the Süper Lig standings.
In Cyprus, Mike Klukowski and APOEL finished on top of the 1. Division regular season when they beat Anothorsis 2-0 on Sunday. Klukowski played the full 90 minutes as APOEL won their eighth in a row and are unbeaten in 13 games. They start the championship round of the competition on Saturday.
On the other end of the table, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Alki enter the relegation round on the strength of a three-game winning streak.
Nakajima-Farran came off the bench for the second half and scored in the 54th minute on Saturday as Alki beat Ethnikos Achna in a 6-5 thriller. They now face the four-team relegation round and, if they can avoid finishing last of the four teams, they’ll remain up in the top-flight.
It’s now two games without a point to start the season for Tosaint Ricketts and Sandnes Ulf in Norway’s Eliteserien. Ricketts came off the bench in the 63rd minute on Monday as Sandnes Ulf lost 1-0 to Aalesund.
In Portugal, Pedro Pacheco and Santa Clara’s promotion hopes took a big hit with a 1-0 loss to Atletico CP on Saturday. Santa Clara are now in seventh place in Portugal’s Liga de Honra and nine points back of second place and promotion to the Primeira Liga.
In Uruguay, forward Lucas Cavallini scored his third goal of the Clausura season. His 72nd-minute goal wasn’t enough for club Juventud de las Piedras as they lost 5-2 to Bella Vista on Saturday. Juventud are in 13th place after 16 games.
The struggles continue for Sherif El-Masri and Young Lions in Singapore’s S-League. El-Masri played the full 90 minutes on Thursday as Young Lions lost their sixth straight to start the new season, a 3-0 defeat to Warriors.
It was also a losing weekend for the other two Canadians in the league. Midfielder Jordan Webb and Home United lost to league-leaders Tampines Rovers 1-0 on Friday while Jerome Baker played for Hougang United on Wednesday as they lost 2-0 to Geylang International.