American Exports: Aron Johannsson nets two more goals in AZ Alkmaar win
AMSTERDAM – A pair of Americans scored key goals across the pond on Sunday, with AZ Alkmaar ace Aron Jóhannsson notching a double to boost the home side past Cambuur 3-1.
After the promoted visitors took an early lead, the US international (above) nearly replicated his first international goal, only to fire just wide. In the 35th minute, Jóhannsson earned his second assist of the Eredivisie season by collecting a long ball to tee up Roy Beerens for the equalizer.
Just before the break, Maarten Martens flicked on for Jóhannsson to put AZ ahead to stay with a left-footed conversion. In the 65th minute, the striker put the game on ice by freeing himself for a sweet curler into the upper 90.
Jóhannsson now has seven league goals on the campaign and 12 across all competitions, putting him atop the scoring chart for American exports. With their third straight Eredivisie home win, AZ rose to eighth place, three points shy of the summit.
Meanwhile, over in Austria, Terrence Boyd came off the bench to bag Rapid Vienna's 2-2 equalizer against visiting Sturm Graz.
Just past the hour mark, the halftime sub buried his side's second spot kick in 11 minutes to level matters. It was Boyd's sixth goal of the league season, tying him for the team lead. Though still winless in three, Rapid held firm in fourth place.
Over in the English Premier League, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Tottenham.
The US netminder logged four saves to keep the game close until the late going, including matching dazzlers on Andros Townsend and Paulinho on either side of intermission. The result dipped Villa three spots to 13th place, while backup netminder Brad Friedel and Spurs climbed to fifth.
Across the North Sea in Denmark, Babajide Ogunbiyi went the distance as Viborg battled to a 0-0 stalemate at Brøndby.
In addition to ably marshaling the away defense, the American nearly picked up a winning assist near the break. Ogunbiyi flicked on a long throw for teammate Mikael Rask, who was promptly robbed by Brøndby goaltender Lucas Hradecky. The draw kept Viborg in fourth place, a single point off the Superliga's second Champions League slot.
In nearby Norway, a solid showing from netminder Steve Clark was not enough to keep Hønefoss from dropping into the Tippeligaen basement after a 1-0 home loss to holders Molde FK. Three saves from the Michigan native kept the game scoreless until near the hour, but the hosts fell to three points off the survival playoff spot and five short of the safety zone with but three matches remaining.