AMSTERDAM — It was a fairly successful Sunday for American Exports, with Clarence Goodson hitting his first goal of the season to spark a big Brøndby 2-1 derby triumph over defending Danish league champions FC Copenhagen.
The US center back deposited an 18th-minute free kick for his first SAS Liga strike since May. The first-place visitors eventually tied the game, but Thomas Rasmussen's 81st-minute decider earned Brøndby their first league win in five and snapped a 10-match drought against their archrivals.
Later, Michael Parkhurst and second-place FC Nordsjælland benefitted from Brøndby's work, cutting their deficit on the top to four points with a 2-0 blanking of SønderjyskE. With Conor O'Brien watching from the away dugout, Parkhurst crossed for his second assist of the term on the 69th-minute capper. The result took the Wild Tigers up to seven shutouts and 10 wins from their last 13 league outings.
Chris Rolfe put in an active 85 minutes to help Aalborg BK climb to third place with a 3-1 victory at FC Midtjylland. The former Chicago Fire man fired three shots on goal and served three dangerous crosses as the visitors posted their first road win since August.
Elsewhere, Brad Rusin went the distance in defense as last-place HB Køge failed to gain ground in their survival drive with a 2-2 draw at Lyngby. A stoppage-time shot on goal from the American forced a tempting rebound that was put over by a teammate from a scramble.
Heading south to Italy, left midfielder Michael Bradley was among the top performers in Chievo's 2-1 win at Catania. In scoring their first away win of the season, the Flying Donkeys soared up to ninth.
Along the coastline in Taça de Portugal play, Oguchi Onyewu held firm in central defense as runaway train Sporting CP steamed onward to the round of 16 with a 2-0 decision over visiting Braga. The Lions have now won all eight of the US defender's starts for the club and nine consecutive domestic matches.
Over in the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim moved Fabian Johnson from the wing to right back as injury cover at the half-hour mark of a 2-0 defeat at Hamburg. With Daniel Williams an unused sub, the visitors remained in ninth place and winless in three.
Next door in the misty Netherlands, overwhelming fog conditions forced halftime abandonment of a scoreless contest between Jozy Altidore's AZ Alkmaar and home side Excelsior. With the clubs still to set a date for the make-up, the Cheese Farmers saw their Eredivisie lead cut to three points.
Over the border in the Jupiler League, Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht maintained their three-point league lead with a 3-1 victory over guests Sint-Truiden. The win was the fifth straight at home for the Mauves.
Finally, in Norway's Tippeligaen, Mikkel Diskerud and Stabæk stayed docked in 10th place after a 2-1 home defeat to FK Haugesund. The strugglers have now won just once in their last 11 league games, as well as just once in their last six at Telenor Arena.