American Exports: Michael Bradley & Jozy Altidore shine bright in wins for Roma & Sunderland
AMSTERDAM – It was an eventful Sunday for Yanks in Europe, including late winners in Italy and Austria, and a Man of the Match performance in northern England.
AS Roma's Michael Bradley leads the story, coming off the bench to hit a record-breaking winner in a 1-0 victory for the Giallorossi at Udinese. The US midfielder entered play in the 78th minute and just four minutes later decided the match with a well-placed shot from outside the home area that left the goalie no chance.
The goal gave the Serie A leaders a ninth straight win to start the season, a new league record.
Over in England's Premier League, Jozy Altidore was named Sky Sports Man of the Match after assisting on Sunderland's late 2-1 derby winner against archenemies Newcastle.
Six minutes from the end of a strong display filled with gritty hold-up work, the striker made his most important link play of the afternoon. Altidore settled a long pass into the path of substitute Fabio Borini, who fired home a beauty to give Sunderland their first win of the season.
The three points boosted the Black Cats out of the EPL basement.
Turning to Belgium's Jupiler League, Anderlecht were unable to make good on a first-minute Sacha Kljestan goal, settling instead for a 1-1 home draw with derby rivals Standard Liège. The former Chivas USA midfielder applied the fatal touch to a flicked-on corner kick mere seconds into the contest for his fifth tally of the season. Despite playing up a man for the final 35 minutes, the champs remained seven points short of the summit in fifth place.
Across the water in Eredivisie territory, Aron Jóhannsson had a quiet 74-minute shift as AZ Alkmaar patiently grinded out a 2-0 win at Zwolle. The victory, their third in four league matches, lifted the visitors into third place and level on points with leaders FC Twente.
The Sunday hat trick of American goals overseas was completed by Rapid Vienna's Terrence Boyd, who nodded home with two minutes left on the clock to earn the derby visitors a 1-0 triumph away to local nemesis Austria Vienna. The No. 9 was also in a couple of early incidents, with an ignored penalty shout and then a booking during the opening quarter hour. Now unbeaten in their last three road games, Rapid climbed a spot to third place.
Up in Denmark, Conor O'Brien went the distance as Odense BK battled guests Brøndby to a 0-0 stalemate. Fresh off a place in last week's Superliga Team of the Round, the midfielder helped the fourth place Europe chasers extend their bulletproof run to four games.
A ferry ride away in Norway's Tippeligaen, Steve Clark notched four saves as Hønefoss gained precious survival ground with a 0-0 draw at Brann. The netminder pulled off the gem of the bunch by denying Fredrik Haugen near the hour. The draw inched the visitors to within two points of the promotion/relegation playoff spot and four points of the safety zone with two matches remaining.