American Exports: Juan Agudelo assists in FC Utrecht loss, but Jozy Altidore sits again for Sunderland
AMSTERDAM – Late sub Juan Agudelo set up the FC Utrecht's consolation goal in a 4-1 loss at Heerenveen on Sunday afternoon.
The US forward entered with his team down one in the 64th minute. Mere seconds before the hosts doubled their lead in the 67th, Agudelo saw his bid for an equalizer cruelly pushed out of the bottom corner by Heerenveen netminder Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Near stoppage time, however, Agudelo helped the visitors finally get on the board, nodding down for Jacob Mulenga to fire home in notching his second assist of the season. Now winless in nine on the road, Utrecht dropped a table place to 12th.
Elsewhere, Aron Jóhannsson put in a decent hour's work as AZ Alkmaar continued their late season swoon with a 2-1 defeat at ADO Den Haag.
The striker passed well, but managed just one shot, forcing an easy save midway through the opening period. Jóhannsson could have earned a game-tying assist for slipping Viktor Elm in alone on the edge of halftime, but the AZ midfielder could not beat the 'keeper.
Winless in four, the Cheese Farmers have one regular season match to get back on track before the Europa League playoff begins.
Across the North Sea in England, Jozy Altidore (above) watched on as Sunderland leaped out of the drop zone with a 4-0 demolition of 10-man guests Cardiff City. Conner Wickham bagged a brace as the Black Cats won consecutive games for the first time since February to move from the basement to 17th place while still holding a game in hand on the bottom three teams.
To the north in Denmark, Babajide Ogunbiyi made his first start since early December to help Superliga survivalists Viborg reach the safety zone on the strength of a 3-1 win over AGF Aarhus.
The burly center back rang up nine clearances and three tackles as the Greens jumped out of last place by posting their first win and first shutout in six games. For the season, all but one of Viborg's seven clean sheets have come with Ogunbiyi in the heart of defense.
The victorious hosts used the points to climb two rungs out of last place and a point above the trap door with four games left.