AMSTERDAM – Young Molde FK netminder Ethan Horvath put on a Man of the Match display in Europa League group play on Thursday night, notching 10 saves to hold visiting Dutch giants Ajax to a 1-1 draw.
The 20-year-old Colorado native got started right away, with both a cross capture and a stop on Viktor Fischer's long-range blast inside the opening 60 seconds of play. The hosts then rewarded Horvath by grabbing the lead after just seventh minutes.
However, they would only hold the advantage until the 18th minute, when another Fischer drive from outside the area deflected off Molde scorer Daniel Berg Hestad to foil Horvath and knot the contest. He got revenge mere moments later, denying the Ajax goal-getter at close range in a lead-preserving sneak preview of what was to come in the second half.
Horvath registered seven of his stops and another cross claim after the break, when Ajax had the home-side defense under siege. Most notably, the American made a huge point-blank save to frustrate Fischer shortly before the hour and nudged a tricky corner serve from Ajax skipper Davy Klaassen onto the crossbar in stoppage time. The latter sequence also saw the Molde 'keeper benefit from a big line clearance by his defense.
The point pocketed leaves Molde on the summit of Group A through two Matchdays. They will now look forward to hosting second-place Celtic with a chance to go clear at the top on Oct. 22.