U.S. Abroad (April 25-27): Friedel, Blackburn get crucial win

American goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller continued to shine in the English Premier League. Friedel's Blackburn Rovers remain in the hunt for a UEFA Cup spot thanks to a 3-2 victory at Leeds. Keller, meanwhile, repeatedly thwarted Manchester United before the league leaders took a 2-0 win.


* Brad Friedel (Blackburn, PL) at Leeds, 3-2.

Started: 90 minutes. This important victory kept alive Blackburn's bid for a UEFA Cup spot next season. Friedel played solidly, denying Mark Viduka on one occassion by diving bravely as the Australian shot. Viduka opened the scoring in the 20th minute, but Rovers equalized on a David Dunn penalty kick in the 36th minute. Andy Cole and Andrew Todd scored second half goals before Blackburn defender Vratislav Gresko left with an injury and Rovers, having used its three substitutions, played a man short for the final ten minutes and Alan Smith scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute.

* Kasey Keller (Tottenham, PL) vs. Manchester United, 2-0.

Started: 90 minutes. With Kasey Keller ''in inspired form'' according to wire reports, the Premier League leaders needed 68 minutes to break through for a goal. Keller made four quality stops on striker Ruud van Nistelrooy alone in the first half, in addition to several more after the break. Paul Scholes flicked a David Beckham cross on to Ryan Giggs, then converted Giggs' return feed for the first tally and van Nistelrooy iced the match in the 90th minute. The win put Manchester United five points ahead of Arsenal, which has three games remaining versus United's two. Tottenham coach Glen Hoddle said afterward, ''Up to 68 minutes, we were still in the game, although our keeper had kept us in it in the first half with some fantastic saves. We gave the ball away cheaply for both goals but United have so many players who can score. That's the added dimension which perhaps they have got more than anyone else in the league.''

* Jovan Kirovski (Birmingham, PL) vs. Middlesbrough, 3-0.


* Claudio Reyna (Sunderland, PL) vs. Charlton, 1-3

DNP - injured.

* Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, D1) vs. Grimsby, 2-1.

Started: 90 minutes. The win clinched Reading's berth in the playoff for promotion among the top six teams in the first division.

* Eddie Lewis (Preston North End, D1) vs. Bradford, 1-0.

Started: 80 minutes.


* Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus, D1) at Arminia Bielfeld, 2-2. Started: 90 minutes. Cottbus sits in last place with 25 points. Kicker rating (1=best; 6=worst): 3.

* Conor Casey (Hannover 96, D1) at Hertha Berlin, 0-1. DNP.

* Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, D1) at Hertha Berlin, 0-1. Started: 90 minutes. Kicker rating (1=best; 6=worst): 4.

* Tony Sanneh (Nuremberg, D1) at Hamburg, 0-4. DNP - back injury. Nuremberg, with 30 points, is above only Cottbus in the standings.

* Mike Duhaney (Mainz, D2) at Alem Aachen, 0-3. DNP.

* Cory Gibbs (St. Pauli, D2) at FC Koln, 1-2.

Started: 90 minutes. St. Pauli is in second-to-last place headed to the Third Division.

* Grover Gibson (Mainz, D2) at Alem Aachen, 0-3. DNP.

* Jacob Thomas (Braunschweig, D2) at LR Ahlen, 2-1. Started: 90 minutes. Kicker rating (1=best; 6=worst): 3.


No games scheduled.


* John O'Brien (Ajax, D1) at AZ Alkmaar, 3-1.



* Alex Yi (Antwerp, D1) at La Louviere, 1-1. DNP.


* Jonny Walker (Colo Colo, D1) vs. Puerto Montt, 1-1. DNP.


* Wade Barrett (Aarhus, D1) at Viborg, 1-2 (4/27).

Entered as sub in 85th minute.

at Farum Boldklub, 0-2 (4/24)

DNP - not on bench.


* Robbie Russell (Sogndal, D1) vs. Tromso, 3-1. Started: 90 minutes.

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