MICHAEL HADLEY - Monday, November 26, 2012
Americans in the Europa League fared poorly in their Thanksgiving Day games with Josh Gatt, Terrence Boyd, and Alejandro Bedoya all suffering defeats
Molde 1-2 Køberhavn
Josh Gatt and Molde fell victim to Denmark's current leaders by an identical score as in their first meeting in the group stage.
The American went 90 minutes for the 2012 Eliteserien champions in their section consecutive 2-1 defeat to Køberhavn.
In the 15th minute, Molde goalkeeper Espen Pettersen made an incredible kick-save on a close-range diving header from Andreas Cornelius, initially keeping the teams level at 0-0.
But six minutes later, after a Daniel Chima shove in the penalty box during a Køberhavn corner, Brazilian Cesar Santin buried a penalty kick down in the middle of the net putting the visitors ahead 1-0.
After halftime, Chima would redeem himself. In the 61st minute, the Nigerian was able to find space at the near post on a free kick sent in by Mangus Eikrem, redirecting the Norwegian's service past a stunned Kim Christensen to tie the game.
The winner for Køberhavn came in the 75th minute after the Molde defense was caught out of position. On a three-on-three break out, Cesar Santin played Rurik Gislason behind the scrambling Molde defenders, and the Icelander calmly slid a shot to under Pettersen to the far post.
Gatt played the full 90 minutes at right midfield for Molde, picking up a yellow card in the 41st minute but otherwise not factoring too much into the attack. Molde's final match of 2012 will come when they play Stuttgart in two weeks. Earlier in the group stage, Molde defeated Stuttgart 2-0 in Germany.
Molde are currently in last place in Group E with three points, four behind Køberhavn for third in the group and officially eliminated from advancement.
Rosenborg 3-2 Rapid Vienna
Terrence Boyd scored his first Europa League goal since Rapid Vienna's trip to PAOK, but it wouldn't be enough to pick up their first group stage victory against Mikkel Diskerud and Rosenborg.
Nigerian striker John Chibuike opened the scoring in the game in the 28th minute for Rosenborg. In a brilliant one-man effort, Chibuike slid his way beyond a handful of Rapid defenders in the box before wrong-footing a shot past Ján Novota for the 1-0 lead at home.
After the break, the dam would break for both teams.
Thomas Schrammel put Rapid on the board after his 53rd minute volley from a corner caromed off a Roseborg defender and redirected into the net. The Austrian was given credit for the goal, despite the redirection.
Boyd was able to give Rapid a short-lived 2-1 advantage in the 66th minute, slamming home a bad rebound opportunity given up after Alexander Hansen couldn't handle a long-range effort.
The game would come even again in the 76th minute after more defensive miscues for Rapid, the story of their Europa League group play. A cross from the flank bounded around in the box before falling to the feet of Rosenborg's Tarik Elyounoussi. The Norwegian put the ball on his left foot and fired from close range, taking an odd deflection off of Brazilian defender Gerson. Novota couldn't change his direction quickly enough and the shot rolled safely across the line.
It took just three minutes for Rosenborg to find the winning goal. The Rapid defense was caught ball-watching as Jonas Svensson sprinted up the left attacking flank. A quick pass over to Rade Prica, who had only just come on for the first goalscorer Chibuike, was easily redirected to finish Rapid off.
Both Americans played a full 90 minutes, with Boyd's individual effort in scoring outshining Diskerud's yellow card. But Mikkel got the last laugh between the two friends as Rosenborg defeated Rapid by a goal in both of their meetings.
Neither team will be advancing to the next round, however, as Rosenborg's six points and Rapid's zero are too far behind Bayer Leverkusen's ten in second place with a game remaining.
Helsingborg 1-3 Levante
Alejandro Bedoya seemed to be a man on a mission Thursday, but his passion towards the goal wouldn't become anything tangible in Helsingborg's defeat to Levante.
Levante didn't waste any time in Sweden when Rubén Garcia connected with Ángel in the eighth minute, playing his countryman in behind the Helsingborg defense with ease.
Both teams seemed to settle in over the next half hour, but it would again be Levante, this time it was Pedro Ríos sending a cross in from the right flank that Papakouli Diop thundered across the frame and into the net to put Levante up 2-0 in the 37th minute.
Levante would tack on another in the 81st. Barkero slid in behind the Helsingborg defense and played a ball back to Iborra who easily redirected a shot to the far post to put Levante up 3-0.
A small solace came in the 89th minute when Ardian Gashi sent in a long pass to the top of the box where second half substitute Thomas Sørum took one touch around Ballesteros and thundered a shot into the net to set the scoreline at 3-1.
Bedoya played the full 90, taking two shots from a midfield role but couldn't find the back of the net for Helsingborg.
Helsingborg were already eliminated from advancement, currently sitting at one point from five games in Group L.
Lazio 0-0 Tottenham
Violence in Rome between the two club's supporters gave way to a fairly uneventful 90 minutes for Lazio and Tottenham.
Clint Dempsey started for Tottenham who were looking to secure advancement through a victory but came up short.
Lazio had the better of the chances through the game, but Frenchman Hugo Lloris was up to the task on the road.
Dempsey played 64 minutes before giving way to Jermain Defoe, the hat-trick scorer from two weeks ago, during a double change for the North Londoners, also seeing Aaron Lennon come on for Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 64th.
But it wasn't in the cards for Spurs who simply couldn't put it together.
Spurs can still advance with either win or draw against Panathinaikos in two weeks.
Steve Cherundolo went 90 minutes for Hannover 96 in a 0-0 draw against FC Twente. Hannover have secured advancement with 11 points in Group L.
David Yelldell was not in the 18 for Bayer Leverkusen who had already secured their place in the Round of 32 in Group K.
Bryan Gerzicich and Ironi Kiryat Shmona postponed their match against Athletic Club due to ongoing tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip.