Clint Dempsey with teammates Jermaine Defoe and Aaron Lennon
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American Exports: Europa success for Friedel, Dempsey

AMSTERDAM – Brad Friedel and Clint Dempsey helped Tottenham Hotspur get a leg up on Europa League round-of-32 visitors Lyon on Thursday, with Gareth Bale's goal on the last kick of the game providing the 2-1 winner.

The veteran netminder made three saves in posting his 12th career victory in the tournament, formerly known as the UEFA Cup. Friedel's best work of the night came just past the hour, when he tipped over an Alexandre Lacazette rocket to keep the score tied.

Dempsey, meanwhile, was subbed out after contributing a decent 67-minute shift in attacking midfield. Tottenham, who have yet to suffer a defeat in this year's tourney, will travel to Lyon on Feb. 21 to conclude the tie.

Elsewhere, Hannover 96 fell 3-1 in their opener at Anzhi Makhachkala without injured captain Steve Cherundolo. The visitors opened the scoring midway through the opening frame, but the Russian outfit leveled by halftime and took over after intermission.

Finally, Marc Pelosi did not dress as Liverpool dropped a 2-0 first leg decision at Zenit St. Petersburg. The US Under-20 ace was one of three changes made to the Reds' Europa League squad during the winter pause.