American Exports: Sacha Kljestan scores first Champions League goal for Anderlecht
Sacha Kljestan punctuated a fine performance with his first career Champions League group-stage goal on Tuesday, but it was not enough as an eight-man Anderlecht bravely succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at Olympiacos.
With the Mauves down one in the 39th minute, they executed a quick counter led by former D.C. United winger Andy Najar, who made his Champions League debut with an encouraging 90-minute shift. The Honduras ace played a fine entry pass for Guillaume Gillet, who drew the Olympiacos netminder out before teeing up Kljestan for an easy strike from the right channel.
The goal extended Kljestan's career-high across all competitions in a single campaign to eight and put him among an elite group of American players.
In addition to the goal, the former Chivas USA captain led all players in distance covered and his team in passing accuracy. The midfielder was among the Anderlecht standouts on both sides of the ball, with both he and Najar pitching in with some important tackles on the back-track.
Anderlecht have already been eliminated from the Champions League and from contention for third place in the group, which would yield a Europa League knockout-round berth.
You can see Kljestan's goal here: