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Hahnemann's shutout leads Reading to 1-0 victory over Millwall.

Friedel, Rovers get back on winning track, 2-1 over Everton.

With Thomas' decisive goal, Eintracht Braunschweig stuns Hannover 96 2-0 in German Cup.

Keller's 12 saves can't stop Spurs' 1-0 loss to Bolton.

Cherundolo avoids bench and helps Hannover draw 1-1 with 1860 München.

Spurs ride Keller hot streak to middle of Premier League table.

Howard, Manchester United hold off Rangers 1-0 in Champions League.

Reyna has goal, assist as Man. City drubs Bolton 6-2.

Keller's threee straight shutouts are key to Hotspur revival.

Keller faces 24 shots, leads Spurs 0-0 draw with Reyna's City.

Reyna keeps it brief in Manchester City debut.

Fulham manager Coleman is irate over loss of Reyna to Manchester City.

One error ruins Howard's great effort, Man. U.'s perfect mark.

In surprise, Sunderland transfers Reyna to Manchester City.

Americans Abroad

Howard, Man. U. get the best of Friedel, Rovers before record crowd at Old Trafford.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
and Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)

(Monday, November 24, 2003) -- In a match featuring two American goalkeepers, Manchester United's Tim Howard came out on top of Blackburn Rovers' Brad Friedel with a 2-1 decision at home Saturday in front of 67,748 at Old Trafford, the largest English Premier League crowd of the season.

As has often been the case this year, Friedel was let down by a week Blackburn defense. In the 22nd minute, Ruud van Nistelrooy took a throw-in, laid the ball off to Quinton Fortune and then raced unmarked into the penalty area. He took Fortune's return pass and blasted it past a helpless Friedel for a 1-0 lead.

United's second goal was a magnificent seven-pass affair that left the Rovers defense completely befuddled. After moving the ball quickly upfield, van Nistelrooy ran onto Roy Keane's lofted pass, pulled the ball back to Fortune, who squared it to Brazilian striker Kleberson for a first-time shot past Friedel for a 2-0 advantage in the 3th minute.

Friedel's superb save on Keane prevented a three-goal deficit at the break.

Man. U. came close a couple of times after intermission before Rovers pulled to within 2-1 when Brett Emerton put one past Howard in the 62nd minute.

Neither side mustered much offense in the final half hour. Rovers played without suspended starters Andy Cole and Lucas Neill, as well as the injured Lorenzo Amoruso and David Thompson.

While United (10-2-1, 31 points) is in third place, two points behind Arsenal (10-0-3) and one behind Chelsea (10-1-2), Rovers (3-8-2, 11 points) currently sit at the precipice of the relegation zone, in 17th place, tied with Aston Villa, but one ahead in goal differential of the top of three demotion spots..

Last night, U.S. keeper Kasey Keller and Tottenham Hotspur used two late goals to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 in a dull match played mostly in the midfield. Keller was beaten in the 66th minute when Marcus Allback got a head on a chip from Pete Whittingham and looped his shot high over Keller. Rohan Ricketts tied matters for Tottenham in the 77th minute and Robbie Keane netted the winner three minutes later.

Spurs (4-6-3, 15) are tied for 11th place with Portsmouth, also 4-6-3.

U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna could be out several more weeks with a pulled groin muscle. In his absence, Manchester City looked bad, losing to Newcastle United 3-0 and falling into a tie for eighth place at 5-5-3 with 18 points.

U.S. attacker Jovan Kirovski continue to play full matches for the Birmingham City reserves, but does not dress for the first team. Over the past two weeks, he played in the midfield in Birmingham City's 1-0 loss to Manchester City's reserves and a 2-2 draw with Wolves.

In England's First Division, U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis started Preston North End's match with Norwich on the bench, but came on in the 79th minute to little avail as the match ended 0-0. Since coming back from a minor knee strain, Lewis has been in and out of the starting side over the past several weeks.

American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann played very well to help Reading salvage a point in a 0-0 draw with league-leading West Bromwich Albion. Twice, Hahnemann stopped Rob Hulse, including once in stoppage time to keep West Brom off the scoreboard.

In the Third Division, American midfielder John Thorrington has struggled to come back from an injury at Huddersfield Town. It was thought he would play on Saturday's 3-3 draw with Mansfield, but he failed a fitness test.

In France, Bastia could not hold an early lead at home and went down to Nantes 3-1. U.S. defender Greg Vanney started, but came out in favor of an attacking midfielder shortly after Nantes took the lead in the 64th minute.
In Germany, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo of Hannover 96 sat out his one-game suspension due to a fifth yellow card and watched his team lose 3-1 to VfB Stuttgart, the Bundesliga leader. Cherundolo will be available for next week's game against SC Freiburg.

In the 2Bundesliga, American midfielder Joe Enochs went the distance, but VfR Osnabrück lost 2-0 at Union Berlin Friday night. He and his teammate Anel Dzaka were ineffective preventing Berlin from controlling the midfield

After scoring a goal in an impressive effort two weeks ago, American forward Conor Casey and his Karlsruher SC teammates were unable to produce any offense of note in the 3-0 loss to SpVgg Unterhaching. This was despite playing a man up for the last 30 minutes of the match after Unterhaching's Marc Römer was sent off after a questionable foul. Casey played the full 90 minutes.

U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter had a long bus ride back home after Energie Cottbus fell 2-1 to Greuther Fürth. What looked to be a promising start after Cottbus' Tanque Silva scored in the fourth minute quickly turned into a nightmare as Fürth drew even three minutes later and took a 2-1 lead two minutes after that.

No more goals were scored in the game, but Fürth could have won by a much higher margin had Cottbus goalie Georg Koch not made several spectacular saves throughout the match. Cottbus, despite playing somewhat better in the second half after Berhalter received the captain's armband following a substitution, was unable to put Fürth under any sustained pressure.

Coach Eduard Geyer spoke of his team's "catastrophic defensive effort" in the post-game press conference and added that the team can't expect to return to the 1Bundesliga with that type of effort.

U.S. defender Cory Gibbs of FC St. Pauli and striker Jacob Thomas of Eintracht Braunschweig squared off against each other in third-division Regionalliga Nord action Saturday, and St. Pauli came away with the 1-0 victory. Gibbs was back in action after sitting out a one-game suspension for receiving his fifth yellow card. Both players went 90 minutes for their respective sides.

American defender Pellegrino (Rino) Matarazzo did not play in Preussen Münster's 1-1 draw away to Wattenscheid.

Americans Tim Lawson and Grover Gibson, as well as former U.S. international Michael Mason all started for SV Elversberg which won 1-0 at home against 1. SC Feucht Saturday. Lawson and Mason played 90 minutes while Gibson was replaced in the 78th minute. Mason and Lawson both received yellow cards in the game.

American defender Eric Lukin went 90 minutes in Sportfreunde Siegen's 1-1 draw against the amateurs of FSV Mainz Saturday. Defender John van Buskirk started the game on the bench for Siegen after missing training last week with the flu, but entered the game into the 81st minute, shortly before the equalizer from Mainz. Fellow American Joshua Caleb Norkus did not play for Siegen.

American Jonathan Cummins did not play in VfR Aalen's 4-0 loss at away to Rot-Weiss Erfurt.

Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com. Harris King, an American from South Carolina, has lived in Germany for five years. The Business English lecturer at the University of Bamberg can be e-mailed at ohk4@hotmail.com.

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