U.S. men's schedule, results
Keller lives nightmare, Spurs are eliminated by Man. City 4-3 in FA Cup; Bocanegra excels for Fulham.By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
and Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)
(Thursday, February 5, 2004) -- If United States goalkeeper Kasey Keller is prone to nightmares, he could be reliving for some time last night's 4-3 loss to visiting Manchester City in a FA Cup fourth-round replay.
Despite losing star striker Nicolas Anelka to an ankle injury and being reduced to 10 men after Joey Barton was ejected with his second yellow card in the 45th minute, City erased a three-goal deficit at halftime with four goals after intermission to send Spurs packing 4-3.
John Macken's header in stoppage time completed one of the greatest comebacks in FA Cup history with City advancing to a Round-of-16 meeting with Manchester United .
U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna, nursing a slight groin injury, did not dress for City. "Claudio is struggling with a bit of a groin strain," City manager Kevin Keegan explained. "I think what we are all worried about is that if we risk him, he will miss three or four matches instead of missing one. It was decided just before the match not to allow him to play."
Spurs' downfall started three minutes into the second half when Michael Tarnat lined up a 30-yard free kick. Instead of booming a shot on goal, he sent a chip to completely unmarked Sylvain Distin for a header to the far post.
In the 62nd minute, Keller was set to control a Paul Bosvelt's shot when it took a wicked deflection off Spurs defender Anthony Gardner, completely changing direction and rolling into the net, narrowing the City deficit to 3-2.
Shaun Wright-Phillips leveled the match at 3-3 in the 79th minute. He outpaced two defenders and took Robbie Fowler's pass in full stride, lifting the ball over the outstretched hand of a diving Keller.
Tarnat then crossed from the right side to Jon Macken who, left alone by the Spurs defense. steered a header just inside the near post, beyond Keller's reach to complete the sensational comeback.
"The players let themselves down and our supporters must be gutted," Tottenham acting manager David Pleat said. "I can only look at the reaction now and see how my players react and then move on from there."
In another fourth-round match yesterday, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra played a terrific match, saving one goal off his line for host Fulham, which squandered a late lead, but defeated Everton 2-1 on Steed Malbranque's overtime tally.
Fulham led 1-0 on the strength of Junichi Inamoto's goal in the 42nd minute and took the advantage into the break when, three minutes later, Bocanegra made his key stop. Everton striker Tomasz Radzinski crossed to young star Wayne Rooney whose header seemed headed for net before Bocanegra booted it away.
Fulham was forced into extra time when Francis Jeffers scored in stoppage time, just as he did a week earlier to give Everton a draw and force this replay. However, moments later in injury time, Jeffers mishit a sitter for the potential winner. That allowed Malbranque to put away the winner in the 102nd minute off Luis Boa Morte's second assist of the contest.
American forward Brian McBride, Fulham's recent acquisition, is not eligible for FA Cup play because he joined the Cottagers after the roster deadline.
In English Premier League action Saturday, Manchester United, with American Tim Howard in goal, twice wasted one-goal leads and won at home over Southampton, 3-2 on Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal in the 61st minute.
Howard gave up two goals to Kevin Phillips, the second a 30-yard rocket that was in the net before he could react.
Howard preserved the victory with magnificent late saves on Danny Higginbotham and James Beattie. United was the recipient of a great game from newly-arrived French striker Louis Saha, who scored the first goal and set up van Nistelrooy's winner. Saha's transfer from Fulham opened the door for McBride's move to England from Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew.
Brad Friedel and Blackburn Rovers suffered heartbreak Sunday when the U.S. goalkeeper was beaten by Glen Johnson in the 88th minute, giving Chelsea a 3-2 win on the road.
Only one minute after Paul Gallagher had drawn Rovers level at 1-1, Johnson, a defender, let loose a blast that Friedel could not handle.
Friedel gave up a pair of goals to Frank Lampard 10 minutes apart in the first half. Lampard broke in alone on the left side and put away a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink cross at the far post in the 25th minute. Then he was sent through on an Emmanuel Petit's pass and put his shot under Friedel.
In the 80th minute, Friedel denied Lampard a hat trick with an incredible one-handed save on a sharp header off a cross, keeping Rovers within one at 2-1.
Reyna went 76 minutes in a wild match that saw Manchester City lose 2-1 at Arsenal Sunday.
In a tight defensive struggle, Arsenal took a 1-0 lead after 39 minutes on Tarnat's own goal for City. After a tiring Reyna, having turned in a strong effort, and Bosvelt came off in the 76th minute. Arsenal went ahead 2-0 on Thierry Henry's booming drive in the 83rd minute.
Anelka pulled City to within 2-1 with a goal in the 89th minute, but was then sent off with a red card for throwing a retaliatory punch in an ensuing scuffle.
U.S. striker Jovan Kirovski might be on his way to MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy but, on Saturday, he was on the bench for Birmingham City which used a goal by former Columbus Crew forward Stern John in injury time for a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United.
Earlier in the week, Kirovski started and played 40 minutes in a Birmingham reserve match that was abandoned because of weather.
In England's First Division, American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann had a tidy match for Reading which easily defeated Derby 3-1, a triumph which moves Reading closer to the promotional playoff zone.
Hahnemann did not have a busy day, making a couple of saves and only giving up a 59th-minute goal to Michael Johnson who dove to head home Jamie Vincent's low cross.
U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis and Preston North End got Saturday off after their match against Sunderland was postponed because of a field deemed unplayable because of rain.
In England's Third Division, Huddersfield Town's match against Bristol Rovers was also postponed because of a wet and frozen field. American defender John Thorrington continues to make slow progress coming back from injury. Huddersfield made news by selling and leading scorer Jonathan Stead to Blackburn for a reported $1.8 million.
In Germany's 2Bundesliga, three Americans came up empty in Sunday matches.
Striker Conor Casey and Karlsruher SC showed up 25 minutes late from the winter break in their 2-0 loss at 1. FC Nürnberg. By this time, Nürnberg had jumped ahead by two goals and was able to coast the rest of the way without too much pressure from an ineffective Karlsruher.
Casey provided Karlsruher with the only ray of hope shortly after the second half began, but his hesitation alone in front of the goal allowed Nürnberg's keeper to take the ball off of his foot before he was able to take the shot.
Despite several new signings during the break, VfL Osnabrück and midfielder Joe Enochs remained in last place after losing at home 2-1 to LR Ahlen. Osnabrück showed occasional signs of life throughout the match, but was unable to prevent the late winner by Ahlen's Musemestre Gamba.
Enochs was replaced in the 68th minute in favor of a third striker.
Defender Gregg Berhalter of Energie Cottbus sat out a one-game suspension for his fifth yellow card in the game against Eintracht Trier. His teammates could have used his leadership as relegation-threatened Trier dropped visiting Cottbus 2-0.
As has been the case many times this season, Cottbus keeper Georg Koch put in an outstanding game, but received little help from the offense. Cottbus (8-5-5, 29 points), still in fourth place, two points from the promotion zone and three points out of first, hosts Union Berlin next.
U.S. midfielder John O'Brien played 90 minutes for Ajax Amsterdam which stayed undefeated at home and atop the Dutch Eredivisie with an easy 4-0 win over ADO Den Haag.
Playing left back, O'Brien pushed forward often as Ajax, despite numbers out injured, easily outclassed the visitors. Midweek, what looked to be a difficult match for Ajax at Heerenveen, was postponed by snow.
In France, U.S. defender Greg Vanney went the distance at right back for Bastia which used a strong performance from goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau to hold Montpellier to a 1-1 draw on the road.
Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent. E-mail Robert Wagman. Harris King, an American from South Carolina, has lived in Germany for five years and is a Business English lecturer at the University of Bamberg. E-mail Harris King