Hahnemann, Reading come up short to Burnley in promotion playoffs.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, May 13, 2008) -- United States goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann watched two balls go past him and with them Reading's hopes for promotion back to the English Premier League died.
After dropping a 1-0 decision Saturday to Burnley in the road leg, Reading fell 2-0 in Tuesday's home match for a 3-0 aggregate loss in the second-tier League Championship promotion playoff semifinals.
As was the case so often this season, Reading couldn't muster much of an attack. After keeping the visitors off the scoreboard with several good saves, Hahnemann could do little with two hard second-half shots seven minutes apart.
In the 51st minute, Martin Paterson curled a left-footer into the upper left corner from about 25 yards out.In the 58th, Steven Thompson drove a bullet into the top right corner to make it 2-0.
In Saturday's opening match, a strong effort by Hahnemann was undone by an 83rd-minute Burnley penalty kick. Reading defender Andre Bikey took down Burnley striker Steven Thompson in the box and Graham Alexander powered the subsequent penalty kick to the upper right corner as Hahnemann went the wrong way for the decisive tally.
Hahnemann had an outstanding day, stopping five shots, three of which required difficult saves. Among four saves before intermission were a challenging pair in a three-minute stretch.
In the 24th minute, Hahnemann stopped a hard drive from Jay Tabb and, three minutes later, gathered a high shot from Chris Eagles. In the 52nd minute, Burnley forward Martin Paterson drilled a right-footer which necessitated a difficult save from Hahnemann.
Burnley will face Sheffield United Monday at Wembley in a single match to decide who earns the third promotion spot to the Premier League. United drew 1-1 with Preston North End on the road before coming home to win 1-0 for an aggregate 2-1 triumph.
Edu avoids injury, plays 90 for victorious Rangers
U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu went the distance for host Glasgow Rangers, who won their most important match of the season, edging rival Glasgow Celtic 1-0 in a traditional Old Firm match 1-0 at Ibrox Stadium to take first place in the Scottish Premier League.
The defending champion Rangers (24-4-7, 79 points) passed Celtic (23-4-8, 77) into first place with three matches remaining.
Steven Davis' goal in the 37th minute stood up for Rangers. .
pJust before halftime, Edu suffered a heavy challenge from Celtic defender Glenn Loovens and crumpled to the ground. He looked seriously hurt, but was able to return to action after being treated.
Fellow American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley did not dress for Rangers.
Howard sets Everton record with 16th shutout
U.S. keeper Tim Howard set a club record at Everton with his 16th league clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with host Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton, which is awaiting its appearance in the FA Cup final, put on a dismal offensive display that was matched by the Hotspur. Neither side created much of anything in one of the most forgettable matches of the season.
American goalkeeper Brad Friedel made six saves, but he also let host Fulham put three by him as the Cottagers easily prevailed 3-1 over Aston Villa and its absent defense in the English Premier League.
There was little Friedel could do when virtually unmarked striker Diomansy Kamara twice converted crosses in the 46th and 60th minutes to make it 3-1.
Midfielder Danny Murphy put Villa ahead 1-0 in the sixth minute after Kamara was pulled down in the box. Fulham pulled even on a goal by midfielder Ashley Young six minutes later.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey was solid for Fulham for 86 minutes before giving way for defender Julian Gray.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector was dressed, but never shed his warm-ups for West Ham United which came up short 1-0 to visiting Liverpool.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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