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American Exports: Aron Johannsson, AZ Alkmaar stay alive in Europa League action

Aron Johannsson celebrates a goal for AZ Alkmaar

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of AZ Alkmaar

AMSTERDAM – A few Americans suited up for Europa League Matchday 3 action on Thursday, with Aron Jóhannsson and AZ Alkmaar fighting back for a 1-1 draw at Shakhter Karagandy.

The US forward made a key run to clear the way for Johann Berg Gudmundsson's 26th-minute equalizer. However, Jóhannsson (above) was robbed by the Kazakh side's netminder on his best chance of the night midway through the second frame.

The Cheese Farmers now stand in second, two points behind Group L leaders PAOK, as they make the mid-point turn of the group phase.  

Elsewhere, Terrence Boyd worked all 90 minutes as Rapid Vienna leveled late in a 1-1 share with Belgian hosts Genk.

The Green-Whites ace could have notched a flick-on assist after just seven minutes were it not for a home defender clearing Christopher Dibon's shot. Boyd then nearly equalized for the visitors nine minutes before intermission, only to watch his own close range header plucked from the line.

Thanks to Marcel Sabitzer's 82nd-minute rally strike, Group G cellar-dwellers Rapid pulled to within two points of second place.

Also, Brad Friedel watched on as Tottenham stayed perfect atop Group K with a 2-0 win over Moldovan hosts Sheriff Tiraspol. Spurs are the only team in the tournament to have won their first three group-stage matches, doing so without leaking a single goal.