American Exports: Ageless Brad Friedel stands tall for Spurs in Europa League win
AMSTERDAM – A trio of Americans laced up for Europa League action on Thursday, headlined by Brad Friedel standing tall in goal for the completion of Tottenham's perfect run through the group stage with a 3-1 win over Russian guests Anzhi Makhachkala.
The former USMNT hero rang up five saves in the Group K capper, including fine back-to-back stops on Nikita Burmistrov in the waning moments. Friedel is now five-for-five in posting wins as a cup stand-in this term, with three of those coming in the Europa League.
The only team in this year's tournament to win all six of their group matches, Spurs had already clinched a knockout seed before the game.
Over in Group G, Terrence Boyd's opening goal was not enough to save Rapid Vienna from being eliminated by a 3-1 defeat at Dinamo Kyiv.
The 2014 World Cup hopeful capitalized with a close-range finish after just six minutes, running his goal total for the tournament proper to four, one off the top of the chart. Boyd is up to 12 tallies on the overall Rapid campaign.
The Green-Whites, who could have advanced with a victory, lost for the first time since Matchday 1 to finish third.
Finally, Aron Jóhannsson came on for the final quarter-hour as Group L winners AZ Alkmaar settled for a 2-2 draw at Greek side PAOK. The striker went into the ref's book near time as the Cheese Farmers completed an unbeaten run through group play.
The Europa League round of 32 and round of 16 will both be drawn on Monday afternoon.