AMSTERDAM – A hat trick of American exports rang the midweek bell in Europe on Wednesday, with Fabian Johnson scoring for the second straight match to cap Hoffenheim's 3-0 derby triumph at Stuttgart.
Near the hour mark, the left back (above, right) closed the scoring after being released to start a lightning counterattack down the flank. Johnson centered after darting 40 yards on the ball, but eventually stabbed home after two of his teammates had shots saved by the home netminder.
Daniel Williams also went the full 90 for the victors, picking up a yellow card along the way. Thanks to a second consecutive win, Hoffenheim catapulted six places in the table to 11th.
Elsewhere, Timothy Chandler potted the late consolation as FC Nürnberg took a 4-1 knock on the chin away to Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96.
The FCN right back worked his way to the area in the 73rd minute for a left-footed drive that found its way through Reds 'keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. That moment aside, the night belonged to Cherundolo's hosts, who easily extended their league-best 21-game home unbeaten streak to regain third place.
In English Capital One Cup play, Clint Dempsey worked an aggressive 75 minutes as Tottenham Hotspur moved on with a 3-0 win away to Frank Simek's Carlisle.
The home right back was partially culpable on the Spurs capper, allowing the crosser a bit too much space. Tottenham, meanwhile, will visit Norwich City on Oct. 29 for a place in the quarterfinals.
Over in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan went the distance in midfield as Anderlecht avoided the Beker van Belgie upset bug going around with 2-0 defeat of second-flight mites RBD Borinage. The Mauves moved into the round of 16 by pushing their home unbeaten run to 10 games.
Next door in the Dutch KNVB Cup, Charles Kazlauskas scored the game's first goal and buried his spot kick, but it wasn't enough as Helmond Sport were ousted on penalties after a 3-3 draw at amateur side Xerxes DZB.
The visitors led on the Milwaukee native's fourth goal in his last 10 games until conceding the first equalizer with 11 minutes to play. After a see-saw final 40 minutes of action saw each team hold the lead, the hosts were bounced in a 6-5 shootout despite making their first four tries.
In Norway, Molde FK winger Josh Gatt went unused on his return from injury, a 2-1 NM Cupen loss at Tromsø.
In neighboring Sweden, Brian Span came on for the final seven minutes as Djurgården suffered a 2-1 loss at Åtvidaberg.
Finally, Brøndby skipper Clarence Goodson began serving a three-game suspension as the visitors reached the last 16 of Denmark's DBU Pokalen with a 3-0 win at local mites B93 Copenhagen. The defender was hit with a ban after kicking at Morten Rasmussen from the ground late in their weekend draw with FC Midtjylland.