Edu scores key goal, Glasgow Rangers advance in Europa League.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, March 2, 2011) -- Time was running out on Glasgow Rangers in their bid to reach the quarterfinals of the Europa League. In Portugal, they had fallen behind host Sporting Lisbon 2-1 (3-2 on aggregate) in the second match of the home-and-home elimination series. Sporting had scored in the 83rd minute Thursday and the match moved into stoppage time and the desperate Rangers surged forward.
A bending cross was sent in from deep on the right side and was met in the goal mouth by a sliding Maurice Edu, who had gotten a step ahead of his defender. The American midfielder pushed the ball into the net and Rangers tied the match 2-2, the series 3-3 and advanced because it had scored more road goals.
Rangers, of the Scottish Premier League, next face PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands in the Round of 16.
On Sunday, Edu played 90 minutes and Rangers prevailed 4-0 over St. Johnstone.
In the English Premier League Sunday in what was billed as a match-up of Americans, Blackburn Rovers visited Aston Villa at Villa Park. German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones started for Rovers, while American Brad Friedel was waiting in the Villa goal.
Friedel and Villa emerged easy winners, 4-1. In the 23rd minute, Jones received a yellow card. One minute after intermission, he was sent in alone on Friedel by a Roque Santa Cruz through ball, but the Friedel batted away his low shot.
Friedel deserved to have kept a clean sheet, but in the 81st minute, a shot from Nikola Kalinic took a wild deflection off defender Richard Dunne and flew into the net.
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley did not play for Rovers.
Fulham came from behind with a late goal at Manchester City to earn a 1-1 draw Sunday. American Clint Dempsey, who has been playing as a striker for Fulham, played 90 minutes in a withdrawn position.
U.S goalkeeper Tim Howard had a strong match Saturday, keeping a clean sheet for Everton, which defeated Sunderland 2-0. Howard made four saves, including a dandy when he denied Stephane Sessegnon just before the halftime
Tonight, Everton was eliminated from the FA Cup Round of 16, losing 1-0 to visiting Reading of the second-tier League Championship. Howard had four saves.
In the Premier League, U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden again started and played 90 minutes for Bolton Wanderers in a 1-1 draw Saturday with Newcastle United.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector came off the bench to replace Frederic Piquionne and played the final eight minutes and stoppage time, helping West Ham United hold on to a surprising 3-1 victory Saturday over Liverpool.
American keeper Marcus Hahnemann served as backup keeper for Wolverhampton Wanderers, who overwhelmed Blackpool 4-0 on Saturday.
In the Championship, U.S. keeper Brad Guzan had an up-and-down week in goal for Hull City. On Saturday, he had a pair of saves, but Hull played poorly on both ends at home and lost 2-0 to Cardiff City.
Guzan kept a shutout until the 65th minute when Michael Chopra took advantage of a defensive lapse to put Cardiff ahead. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas added an insurance goal in stoppage time.
On February 22, Guzan had a strong match and Hull defeated host Derby County 1-0. Guzan had a stellar save early to thwart Tomasz Cywka and, when Derby surged in the final minutes, he denied Daniel Ayala and Ben Davies.
Irish-American forward Conor Doyle dressed, but did not play for Derby County in a pair of matches last week.
American defender Eric Lichaj went the distance and received a yellow card for Leeds United in a 3-0 setback to Swansea City on Saturday. On February 22, Lichaj went the distance in a 3-3 draw with Barnsley.
American defender Zak Whitbread played 90 minutes in a pair of matches for Norwich City. On Saturday, it was in a 2-0 win over Barnsley. On February 22, it was in a 1-1 draw with Doncaster Rovers.
American striker Eddie Johnson made two appearances for Preston North End last week. On Saturday, he came off the bench and played the final 21 minutes of a 2-1 loss to Burnley. On February 22, he started and played the first hour in a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest.
U.S. forward Robbie Findley is recovering from a thigh injury and was unavailable for Nottingham Forest's two matches in the last week.
American Mike Grella has found a new home in the third-tier League One for the remainder of this season. The 24-year-old striker was lent on an emergency basis by Leeds United to relegation-threatened Swindon Town.
Grella has not been getting playing time with Leeds and earlier this season had been loaned to League One's Carlisle United where he had three goals in 11 matches before his loan expired. Leeds then tried to loan him to Motherwell in Scotland, but a ruling from the Scottish Premier League prohibited the move because Grella would have played for three teams in a season, which was not allowed.
Grella immediately started and played 90 minutes in Swindon Town in a 4-1 road loss to Southampton on Saturday.
American Frank Simek went the distance on the back-line for Carlisle in a pair of matches. On Saturday, it was a 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday. On February 22, it was a 2-2 draw with Exeter.
American midfielder Anton Peterlin did not dress for a pair of matches for Plymouth Argyle over the last week.
In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo went 90 minutes for Hannover 96 in its 1-0 victory Saturday over St. Pauli.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley did not dress for Hannover.
German-American midfielder-defender Timothy Chandler played 90 minutes and received a yellow card for 1. FC Nürnberg in a 1-1 draw Saturday with Schalke 04.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark, recovering from a fractured cheekbone, did not dress for Eintracht Frankfurt, a 2-0 loser Sunday to VfB Stuttgart.
American defender-defensive midfielder Daniel Williams, recovering from a knee injury, was not available to SC Freiburg for its 1-0 setback to FC Cologne on Saturday.
In a 2.Bundesliga battle of relegation-threatened teams, FC Ingolstadt 04, with U.S. striker Edson Buddle scoring a goal, helped its chances of avoiding demotion easy 4-1 win over Karlsruhe, which had American Luis Robles in goal.
Buddle come off Ingolstadt's bench in the 76th minute and registered the final tally, his second of the season, heading home a free kick from close range after beating a pair of defenders.
Earlier in the match, Robles received a yellow card when he took down a striker in the box who, leading to a converted penalty kick.
American defender Amaechi Igwe is recovering from a knee injury and sidelined Ingolstadt.
American keeper David Yeldell had three saves and kept a clean sheet for MSV Duisburg, which settled for a 0-0 draw Friday with RW Oberhausen.
Eighteen-year-old Hawai'ian forward Bobby Wood came off the bench and played the final 18 minutes of TSV 1860 Munich's 1-0 triumph over FC Union Berlin on Friday
American midfielder Alfredo Morales did not dress for Hertha Berlin in its 5-0 decision over Alemania Aachen on Saturday.
In France, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra went the distance for St. Etienne in its 2-0 loss Saturday to Nice.
In the Netherlands, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu is fully recovered from a strained back and Thursday helped FC Twente reach the Europa League Round of 16 by holding Rubin Kazan of Russia to a 2-2 draw at home in Arke Stadion..
Twente had taken a 2-0 led on aggregate with a victory in Moscow two weeks ago, but looked to possibly be in trouble when the Russians went two goals up Thursday. But Twente came back with a pair of goals in the second half and shut down the visitors to prevail 4-2 on aggregate
Twente went on to lose 2-1 to AZ Alkmaar on Sunday with Onyewu playing 90 minutes. Tonight, Onyewu never left the bench, but Twente advanced to the KNVB Beker final with a 1-0 win over FC Utrecht, which played with 10 men after a red-card ejection in the 20th minute.
In Turkey, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore's ankle injury is not considered serious, but it was bad enough to keep him out of Bursaspor's 2-0 victory Friday over Bucaspor.
In the second-division Bank Asya 1 League, American midfielder Freddy Adu started and played 55 minutes for Rizespor in its 0-0 draw with Gungoren Belediyespor on Sunday.
In Belgium, Sacha Kljestan remained on the bench for Anderlecht, which was eliminated from the Europa League by Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 (5-0 on aggregate). Anderlecht's match with Eupen on Saturday was postponed.
In Sweden, American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya has returned to preseason training with Orebro in Sweden after spending a week with Birmingham City of England's Premier League.
Bedoya was in the starting lineup for a Birmingham reserve team that was defeated 4-0 by Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes in a Wednesday friendly.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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