It was a tough night for the Americans in the Europa League as only Tim Chandler’s team picked up a win while most of the others suffered defeats on Thursday night.

Royal Antwerp 0 – 1 Frankfurt

Although Sam Vines didn’t make it onto the game day roster for the Belgian side, Tim Chandler went the distance for their opponents and put in a solid performance for the German outfit who came away with a very late goal to seal the victory and the valuable 3 points in Group B action.

As the game progressed and with no breakthrough in sight, the Eagles fans could be excused for thinking that their team would depart the field for the seventh time in a row with yet another draw.  They only marginally dominated possession but only registered two shots in the game with one of them on target compared to the Great Old, who were a bit more productive in front of goal though couldn’t get the ball past keeper Kevin Trapp and his solid defensive line.  Frankfurt’s shot that did hit the target was a free kick that Jean Butez managed to get fingers to and save the lead.

It took a late penalty to make the difference when Gonçalo Paciencia came on as a second half substation in the 86th minute and did the honors after Dinis Almeida brought down Jesper Lindstrøm when the Dane ran into the box from the right flank.  The goal came in the 91st minute.

With back-to-back losses, Antwerp will have a mountain to climb if they hope to continue in this competition into next year.

The Flemish side will get to stay home over the weekend as they’ll entertain Gent on Sunday afternoon at the Bosuil Stadium. Meanwhile Frankfurt will have their hands full when they travel to Bavaria to take on the eternal German champions, Bayern Munich.

Ferencvaros 1 – 3 Real Betis

Henry Wingo went the distance for his Hungarian team in Group G action and managed to find the back of the net, though it was in the back of his own net to register an own-goal.  The Spaniards also scored a couple for themselves with Nabil Fekir netting early and Christian Tello doing the same deep into stoppage time.  Myrto Uzuni score the hosts’ only goal.  Cameron Carter-Vickers didn’t take part for Betis.

The Spanish side took only 17 minutes to score after Fekir smashed the ball into the back of the net after some lackadaisical defending.  But the early goal didn’t put the Budapest team off their stride and they battled back, matching their opponents stride for stride in the first half.  It paid off just before the intermission when Uzuni broke forward and shot from 18 yards out, easily beating keeper Rui Silva with just a minute on the clock.

Wingo experienced every players nightmare when a deflection in the box hit the American’s head and the ball beat his own keeper.  With 15 minutes to go, the Hungarians fought back but in the end the only other goal came from the Spanish side when the fresh legs of Tello easily beating the defense and the keeper as he slotted it home inside the near post to seal the victory deep in stoppage time.

Ferencvaros will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to take on Paksi FC before the international break.  They currently sit in second place in the league, just a pair of points behind Kisvarda.

Notes

In a clash that should have been a Yank vs Yank affair, both Konrad de la Fuente for Olympique Marseille and DeAndre Yedlin for Galatasaray started on the bench for their respective teams on the French coast in this Group E contest that ended scoreless.  Yedlin was called upon in the 65th minute, while his international colleague did not step over the white line until the 78th minute. 

The point for the Turks was good enough to leave them in first place in their group on 4 points, while Marseille sits in the third spot just 2 points behind.  At this stage nothing has been decided as to who will advance to the next round.

Both teams return to league action on Sunday with Galatasaray heading to Rizespor and OM making the long domestic trip to Lille to take on the defending champions.

Christian Cappis came off the Brondby bench in the 73rd minute when the Danes travelled to Lyon.  By that time, the Frenchmen were already up by a pair of goals and struck late to make it a 3-0 thrashing.  The Copenhagen based team have a few days to lick their wounds before they go up against Randers on the road in league action.

Mark McKenzie stayed on the bench for the duration of Genk’s home game against Dinamo Zagreb but in hindsight, Coach John van den Brom probably wished he started the young American defender after his preferred back line allowed the visitor’s to score thrice.  It ended 3-0, as the Croatians now take over the second spot with just a superior goal difference separating them from the Belgians.

Third in the Pro League, the Smurfs will head to Eupen on Sunday evening and hope to get back to winning ways.

Richard Ledezma didn’t suit up for PSV Eindhoven’s trip to Austria to take on Strum Graz but the Dutch boys won anyway, putting four past the Austrian keeper in this 4-1 victory that puts PSV in first place in Group B.  They’ll get to stay at their Phillips Stadium on Sunday as they welcome local team, Sparta Rotterdam. 

By Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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