American Exports: Aron Johannsson snaps drought with brace in AZ's Dutch Cup win
AMSTERDAM – Aron Jóhannsson snapped a five-game goal drought with a brace and then bagged his shootout spot kick as defending KNVB Cup champs AZ Alkmaar advanced to the quarterfinals following an eventful 2-2 draw with Heerenveen.
The visitors grabbed an early lead, but it would be cancelled out by the prowling US forward on 19 minutes. Jóhannsson was on the spot to bury the rebound of a Nemanja Gudelj shot for his first goal in any competition since November 23.
After the game reached overtime still tied at ones, the red No. 20 shirt put his side ahead for the first time on the night in the 105th minute. Some lax Heerenveen defending allowed a lobbed lead pass to bounce through for Jóhannsson to escort home his 17th tally in all competitions this season. It was also the 13th goal scored by a US international in the club's last nine KNVB Cup matches, counting last season's contributions from the departed Jozy Altidore.
A wild stoppage time incident saw the Frisians level matters from the spot with practically the final kick in 120 minutes of action. Jóhannsson then kicked off penalties with an easy conversion, and the home side eventually pulled out a 7-6 triumph.
The quarterfinal draw will take place after the last two contests of this round take place on Thursday night.
A quick flight away in England, Geoff Cameron worked a solid shift as Stoke City were bounced from the Capital One Cup round of 16 with a 2-0 home loss to Manchester United.
The former Houston Dynamo ace was effective at both ends of the pitch, ringing up seven interceptions at one end and three dangerous crosses at the other. The Potters made a match of it even after Ashley Young opened for the Red Devils on 62 minutes, at least for another quarter hour until Patrice Evra scored a picturesque insurance goal.
In Austrian Bundesliga action, Terrence Boyd saw a late red card as Rapid Vienna meekly fell to a 2-0 loss at Sturm Graz.
With 17 minutes remaining and the visitors down one, the US forward was sent to the showers after making a headbutt motion in a tangle with Graz defender Michael Madl. It is not yet known whether Rapid will appeal the decision, which some early national match reports have called harsh. The result dropped third place Rapid 15 points off the title pace.