AMSTERDAM — Two clubs featuring Americans punched their tickets to the final 32 of the Europa League on Thursday, with Oguchi Onyewu marshaling the back as Sporting CP advanced to the knockout rounds with a 2-0 home win over FC Zürich.
The Lions clinched the top spot in Group D with a game to spare by winning for the ninth time in 10 tries with the American center back in the lineup.
Earlier in the evening, Jermaine Jones and Schalke secured their place in the next round by virtue of a 2-1 win over visiting Steaua Bucharest. The US international saw yellow during a solid shift as the Miners ensured their fourth UEFA tourney knockout appearance in nine years on the strength of Raúl's second-half strike.
Sacha Kljestan went his usual 90 steady minutes in midfield to help Anderlecht stay perfect atop Group L with a 2-1 victory at AEK Athens. Already advanced, the Mauves also made it four wins out of four in Europa League away contests this term.
Finally, Fulham will go into the final Group K match sweating advancement after suffering a last-minute 1-0 loss at FC Twente without a nicked Clint Dempsey. The Cottagers can be sure of moving on in the tournament with a home win over eliminated Odense BK on Dec. 14.