Aron Johannsson dribbles the ball for AZ Alkmaar
Courtesy of AZ Alkmaar

American Exports: Aron Johannsson, AZ Alkmaar advance to Europa League quarterfinals

AMSTERDAM – Aron Jóhannsson and AZ Alkmaar reached the Europa League elite eight on Thursday, with a scoreless draw at Anzhi Makhachkala closing out a 1-0 aggregate victory.

The US forward worked a solid full shift up top for the visitors, drawing two saves in the process.

With their Russian hosts unable to put a single shot on frame, AZ advanced to the Europa League quarterfinals for the fourth time in 10 years. They will find out their next tourney opponent in Friday's draw.

Elsewhere, Brad Friedel and a largely second-choice Tottenham lineup nearly rallied late from a first-leg deficit at Benfica, but finally succumbed 5-3 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw.

The 2002 World Cup hero made just one save, but at the it was vital. Shortly after Nacer Chadli's quick-fire double pulled Spurs to within a goal of leveling the tie, Friedel did well to turn away Eagles forward Eduardo Salvio.

However, Tottenham were unable to turn late pressure into an equalizer to send matters to extra time and Lima finished off the visitors with a stoppage-time penalty kick past Friedel.

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