American Exports: Aron Johannsson, AZ open Europa League group stage with win

Aron Johannsson dribbles the ball for AZ Alkmaar

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of AZ Alkmaar

AMSTERDAM – A trio of Americans got dressed up for opening night of Europa League group-phase play on Thursday, with Aron Jóhannsson and AZ Alkmaar escaping Maccabi Haifa with a slim 1-0 victory.

In a rare occurrence, the US forward was held without a shot in a match where chances were few and far between at either end. The Cheese Farmers won the day thanks to a Joey Gudmondsson goal with 13 minutes to play.

It was also a relatively quiet night for Rapid Vienna ace Terrence Boyd, who worked the final 27 minutes of a tough 1-0 loss away to Swiss side FC Thun. The Green-Whites have now dropped six of their last eight Europa League road games.

Meanwhile, Brad Friedel enjoyed the view from the home dugout as Tottenham opened group play with a 3-0 defeat of visiting Tromsø.