American Exports: Tim Howard's clean sheet keeps Everton's Champions League hopes alive
AMSTERDAM – Tim Howard and Everton stayed in with a shot at Champions League ball by blanking guests Fulham 1-0 on Saturday.
The US netminder did not require so much as a single save to post his third straight shutout victory at Goodison Park. The result tentatively pulled the sixth-place Toffees to within three points of the EPL's last Champions League berth.
Around the league, Clint Dempsey went the distance as Tottenham fought back near time for a 2-2 draw at Wigan. The point gained moved Spurs level on points with Sunday combatants Chelsea.
Geoff Cameron worked the final 28 minutes at left back to help Stoke City top visiting Norwich City 1-0. Thanks to logging consecutive wins for the first time since December, the Potters jumped to eight points clear of the drop zone.
Down one floor in the Championship, Stuart Holden made a stoppage-time cameo on his Bolton return, a 1-1 draw away to new champions Cardiff City. With Tim Ream looking on from the away bench, Wanderers remained in the last promotion-playoff spot on goal differential.
Turning to the Bundesliga, Fabian Johnson set up the opener as Hoffenheim doubled up Timothy Chandler's FC Nürnberg 2-1.
Eleven minutes in, the American capitalized on a defensive mistake to breach the area before squaring for Tobias Weis to apply the easy final touch. Despite winning for the second straight time at home, Hoffenheim remained three points behind also-victorious Augsburg for the survival playoff place.
Over in Turkey's Süper Lig, Maurice Edu had a hot-and-cold outing in Bursaspor's 1-1 rally draw with visiting Akhisar Belediyespor.
The US international was generally solid, but it was his passing error that led to the away side's opener. Edu also drew a late yellow card as the Green Crocodiles crept to within five points of a Champions League berth.
To the north in Sweden, Alejandro Bedoya hit the first-half equalizer as Helsingborg stormed back to embarrass guests Gefle 5-1.
In the 31st minute, the playmaker was slipped in to the area, where he made no mistake in netting his second goal of the young Allsvenskan season. The win put the third place Reds within a point of the penthouse.
Finally, in Austria, Terrence Boyd was on for the last 21 minutes of Rapid Vienna's 3-1 home defeat to Red Bull Salzburg. The Green-Whites, who still hold a two-point edge for the final Europa League invite, have won just once in their last six matches at Gerhard-Hanappi-Stadion.