American Exports: Michael Stephens, Andrew Jacobson lead Bradley's Stabaek to big draw at Molde
AMSTERDAM – Led by American midfielders Andrew Jacobson and Michael Stephens, Bob Bradley's Stabæk fought back late for a 2-2 draw at Tippeligaen leaders Molde FK.
With young compatriot Ethan Horvath serving as back-up netminder in the home dugout, both of Stabæk's Americans went the distance. The Blue Ones trailed by two until the 56th minute, when New York City FC loan item Jacobson wiggled into the area to find Stephens, who danced by a defender before picking the top corner to open his club account.
Jacobson was at it again a minute from time, knocking down a cutback for Franck Boli to net the equalizer. A California native, Jacobson became the first American to notch two assists in a Tippeligaen match since Mikkel Diskerud pulled that trick for Stabæk just shy of four years ago.
The share snapped Stabæk's four-game road losing streak in league play, tentatively lifting them five points above the trap door into ninth place.
After the match, Bradley did an interview with local TV broadcaster and took issue with one pundit assessement that that "tactically the first half was a disaster."
"I totally disagree," Bradley said. "This is just a stupid comment.... To say that tactically the first half was a disaster, this is not even a good conversation."
Elsewhere, Diskerud also put his side on the comeback trail to victory, scoring Rosenborg's first goal in a 3-2 rally win over guests IK Start.
"The Troll Kids" were stunned by a pair of early goals but started their way back when the US midfielder kissed home a low corner kick at the near post just before the half hour. It was Diskerud's first league goal since opening day and his third across all competitions this term.
The American participated in a pair of threatening late attacks as Rosenborg searched for the winner, which finally arrived when Alexander Søderlund bagged his second of the game with seven minutes to play. The home side snapped a two-game losing skid to regain fourth place.
Turning to Germany's second flight, Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt posted their second straight draw to open the season thanks to a last-minute 2-2 equalizer. The Audi boys extended their unbeaten streak to six 2.Bundesliga games, dating back to last season.
Sandhausen forward Andrew Wooten worked all 90 in his first start of the campaign, a 1-1 home draw with former employers Kaiserslautern. The No. 12 shirt drew a pair of good saves early in the second half, but squandered a chance to give his side a two-goal edge when his hesitation to shoot allowed a defender to block his close range effort scant moments before the Red Devils pulled even in the 77th minute.
Bobby Wood was foiled by a diving line clearance in a key situation as 1860 Munich remained winless on the season thanks to a 3-0 lesson taught by visiting Red Bull Lepzig. Shortly after Lions leaked the opener, the US international had his 41st minute rebound bid to level the score spectacularly nodded away by Diego Demme.
Finally, in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan went unused as first place Anderlecht stayed perfect through three rounds with a 1-0 home win over Charleroi.