American Exports: Terrence Boyd scores, Brad Friedel keeps clean sheet in Europa League wins
AMSTERDAM – All three Americans involved in Europa League action on Thanksgiving Day tasted victory, with Terrence Boyd striking the opener in Rapid Vienna's important 2-1 Group G win over Swiss guests FC Thun.
The US forward (above) was on hand to deposit a misplayed cross in the 17th minute, ringing up his sixth career Europa League goal and 11th of the campaign across all competitions. Boyd also had a header cleared from the line just after intermission.
Shortly after Thun leveled in the 62nd minute, former D.C. United man Branko Boskovic hit the winner to keep Rapid's advancement hopes alive. The Green-Whites can reach the final 32 – a depth of run they have not enjoyed in Europe since 1998 – with a Matchday 6 triumph at Dinamo Kyiv on Dec. 12.
Elsewhere, Brad Friedel and already-advanced Tottenham Hotspur blanked Group K hosts Tromsø 2-0 to remain the only perfect club in this year's group stage.
The veteran netminder notched a pair of second-half saves to post his third Europa League victory of the term. Friedel has not lost as the home 'keeper in a European match in 11 years, going 12-0-3 in corresponding fixtures since.
Finally, Aron Jóhannsson worked 81 minutes as AZ Alkmaar stayed in to win Group L with a 2-0 home decision over Maccabi Haifa.
Though he moved the ball well on the night, Jóhannsson was unable to squeeze off a single shot before departing. The Cheese Farmers remained tied at the top with PAOK, their Matchday 6 hosts.