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Americans Abroad

Lewis does well as reserve for Fulham.

By Willie Calderon
Special to SoccerTimes

LONDON (Wednesday, March 22, 2000) -- American Eddie Lewis came on in the 66th minute of Fulham's 1-0 road loss yesterday at Barnsley. He injected some life into the Fulham offense, but came up empty on two good chances to get the tying goal.

The match was critical to Fulham's chances to get into a playoff for promotion from the first division into the Premier League. The top two teams earn immediate promotion with the third- through sixth-place teams playing off. Fulham (14-10-14) currently stands ninth.

With his offense lagging, Fulham manager Paul Bracewell inserted Lewis at left wing and told him to move into the attack. It almost paid immediate dividends.

Fulham's Barry Hayles powered through the Barnsley defense in the 69th minute, and his shot hit Lewis in the back, about six yards out from goal. Lewis was able to control the ball, and tried to flip it into the net with his left foot, with his back to the goal. But the ball fell on the wrong side of the post.

Lewis had another golden opportunity four minutes from time. He controlled a pass from Hayles about 10 yards from goal. But he slipped as he shot, and mishit his attempt that floated harmlessly into Barnsley keeper Kevin Miller's hands.

Clearly, Lewis was the best player on the field over the final 20 minutes, and all-in-all it was an impressive debut.

Willy Calderon, an American living in Bristol, England, can be e-mailed at willy@netcity.co.uk.

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