American Exports: Aron Johannsson outduels Juan Agudelo in Dutch Eredivisie battle
AMSTERDAM – Aron Jóhannsson won his battle with Juan Agudelo on Saturday night, but his opening goal was not enough to win the war as AZ Alkmaar settled for a 1-1 home draw with FC Utrecht.
The Kaasboeren hitman artfully nodded a Roy Beerens cross to the six-yard box through a maze of arms and legs in the 21st minute. It was Jóhannsson's 14th Eredivisie goal of the season and his 22nd across all competitions. The US forward is also up to 14 tallies in as many domestic home games on the campaign and six game-opening strikes, good for joint-second place on the league chart.
Meanwhile, Agudelo spent most of the first half on an island while AZ dominated and he was eventually removed without a shot on goal in the 74th minute. Making his fourth start in two weeks after more than a two-month layoff from competitive action, the former New England striker looked to be running on tired legs.
The result kept AZ in seventh place, while also keeping the visitors winless in eight down in 14th place.
In France's Ligue 1, Alejandro Bedoya logged 90 solid minutes in Nantes' 0-0 stalemate at Nice.
The visitors surrendered 60 percent of the possession, limiting touches to the American for long stretches of the game. Winless in their last five league outings, early season darlings Nantes have now swooned down to 12th.