Josh Gatt with Molde FK.
Courtesy of Molde FK

American Exports: Gatt wonder-goal steals spotlight

AMSTERDAM — Grabbing the Thursday headlines from compatriots taking part in key Europa League action, Molde FK winger Josh Gatt scored a dazzling second-half winner for the second straight game as the Tippeligaen leaders won 2-1 at IK Start.

The visitors cancelled a Start opener in the 53rd minute and, nine minutes later, Gatt motored into the highlight reel. After collecting out wide and in space at midfield, the American veered inside at pace to breach the area past the last defenders and bury a near post rocket.

Molde moved to six points above of idle Tromsø at the top, having now scored 14 goals on their current five-game win streak.

Over in Europa League third qualifying-round second leg, action, Clint Dempsey made his first Fulham appearance of the season in their 2-0 clincher over Croatian mites RNK Split.

Playing off a scoreless draw in the away opener, the buzzing US international drew four free kicks during his 80-minute shift. Dempsey was at his best near the half hour, but his curler after dancing by defenders sailed just wide.

The seeded Cottagers must now wait for Friday's playoff round draw to find who they'll be facing when the opening leg kicks off on August 18.

US teammate Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will not be joining Fulham after an ultimately heartbreaking 4-2 home victory over SV Ried.

In the defender's first game after being named captain, the hosts looked well on their way to overcoming a 2-0 defeat on the road with a four unanswered goals by the hour. The Austrians then clawed a pair back over the final 20 minutes to claim the tie on away goals.

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