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American Exports: Aron Johannsson & AZ Alkmaar advance to Europa League round of 16

Aron Johannsson with AZ Alkmaar

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of AZ Alkmaar

AMSTERDAM – A pair of Americans advanced with their teams to Europa League sweet 16 on Thursday, with Aron Jóhannsson working 75 minutes in AZ Alkmaar's clinching 1-1 second-leg draw against visiting Slovan Liberec.

It was a relatively quiet night for the US forward, who passed cleanly for the most part, but fired is only chance of the game over around the quarter-hour mark. Thanks to Nick Viergever's second goal of the tie in the early going, a late goal from the Czechs was mere consolation in a 2-1 aggregate win for AZ.

Jóhannsson & Co. move on to face the club that knocked them out of this tournament in the playoff round last year, Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala. The opening leg of the round-of-16 rematch will take place in AZ's house on March 13, with the return set for a week later.

Meanwhile, Brad Friedel watched from the home dugout as Tottenham rallied from a first-leg deficit to top Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3-1 (3-2 aggregate). Spurs will start the next round by hosting Portuguese giants Benfica in the tie opener, also on March 13.