ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – He's already the first American to log a 30-goal season in one of Europe's top flights. Now Jozy Altidore can add a domestic cup triumph to his growing résumé.
Altidore fired the winning goal as AZ Alkmaar claimed their fourth KNVB Cup crown with a 2-1 victory against PSV Eindhoven at De Kuip on Thursday. The strike was his 31st across all competitions for the Dutch club, extending his record for Americans in Europe.
Scant moments after Adam Maher opened the scoring with a terrific solo run-and-finish, the US striker doubled AZ's lead after getting loose on the left. Altidore raced toward the area before cutting back behind two rallying PSV defenders to blast his tournament-best eighth cup goal through the grasp of PSV netminder Boy Waterman in the 14th minute.
The Cheese Farmers dominated possession throughout, but were unable to draw any closer than a goal the rest of the way. Altidore also chipped in with a couple of important set-piece clearances after finding the back of the net.
With the cup triumph, AZ have earned an invite to the playoff round of the Europa League.
In Norway, Josh Gatt worked the last 22 minutes as Tippeligaen champs Molde FK finally broke their duck with a 4-1 rout of guests Aalesund FK. Despite their first win in eight games this season, the defending champs remained in the basement.
Across the water in Denmark, Charlie Davies went unused as Randers FC dropped the DBU-Pokalen final 1-0 to Esbjerg in Copenhagen.
PREVIOUS AMERICAN DOMESTIC CUP WINNERS IN EUROPE
- DaMarcus Beasley (KNVB Cup, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup)
- Maurice Edu (2 Scottish League Cups)
- John O'Brien (KNVB Cup)
- Chris Konopka (2 FAI Cups)
- Michael Parkhurst (2 Ekstra Bladet Cups)
- Claudio Reyna (Scottish Cup)
- Tim Howard (FA Cup, English League Cup)
- Brad Friedel (English League Cup, Turkish Cup)
- John Harkes (English League Cup)
- Kasey Keller (English League Cup)
- Troy Perkins (NM Cup)
- Brian West (NM Cup)
- Nate Weiss (Latvian Cup)
- Jozy Altidore (KNVB Cup)