American Exports: Sasha Kljestan captures second straight Belgian title with Anderlecht
AMSTERDAM – Sacha Kljestan became just the fifth American to defend a top-flight crown in Europe on Sunday, helping 10-man Anderlecht hang on for a title-clinching 1-1 draw against visitors Zulte Waregem on the final day of the campaign.
The US midfielder narrowly missed wide in a effort to bag the winner on 77 minutes, but the end result was enough to keep the guests two points back in second.
Kljestan joins DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Josh Gatt and Oguchi Onyewu in the exclusive club of Americans to celebrate championship repeats overseas.
Elsewhere, Geoff Cameron assisted on the opener as Stoke City settled for a 1-1 draw at Southampton. The right back picked out Peter Crouch on 47 minutes for his second helper of the season.
Tim Howard and sixth-place Everton fell 2-1 at Chelsea. The US netminder made four saves on the day.
Brad Guzan registered three stops as Aston Villa clawed back late for a 2-2 share at Wigan. The 15th-place visitors lost just once in their final five road games of the term.
Turning the focus to Serie A, Michael Bradley was again on form as AS Roma posted a 2-1 closing day win against Napoli.
The US ace was largely responsible for Napoli star man Marek Hamšík having an off day. The win assured the Coppa Italia finalists of a sixth-place finish.
In Portugal's Liga ZON Sagres, Tony Taylor made a late cameo as Estoril closed the season with a 3-1 victory at Gil Vicente. The surprise package ended up in fifth place to earn their first Europa League ticket.
Next door in Spain's Segunda División, Carlos Bocanegra held down the defense during Racing Santander's 2-0 win at Sabadell. With three games to play, Racing stand two points shy of the safety zone.