WINNERS & LOSERS: Howard returns; Fulham falls


American keeper TIM HOWARD made his first English Premier League start since September in Manchester United's 2-1 win over Portsmouth. Man U boss Alex Ferguson gave Howard the call in the wake of Roy Carroll's Champions League blunder last week. Howard, who conceded a long-distance goal, was rated a 7 out of 10 by The Sun and a 6 out of 10 by the Manchester Evening News.

LANDON DONOVAN, a 75th-minute sub, was credited with an assist when his pass ricocheted off Stuttgart's Christian Tiffert to Dimitar Berbatov, who gave Bayer Leverkusen (5th place) a 1-0 lead in 80th minute. Stuttgart snatched a 1-1 tie thanks to an 88th-minute penalty kick.

Borussia Moenchenglach's American keeper KASEY KELLER was Kicker Magazine's Man of the Match in a 0-0 tie with Hansa Rostock.

American PETER PHILIPAKOS made his Greek league debut for Olympiakos in a 3-0 win over Chalkidona on Sunday. Philipakos, a 22-year-old New York product, helped set up his team's first goal by flicking the ball up with two defenders on him and volleying a cross into the goalmouth. Philipakos, who was fouled roughly twice in incidents that drew yellow cards for his opponents, came off at halftime.

OGUCHI ONYEWU, usually a central defender, filled in at right back as Standard Liege downed Racing Genk, 1-0, to move within a point of third place in the Belgian Juliper League.

In the Dutch Eredivisie, DaMARCUS BEASLEY played the final 15 minutes in PSV Eindoven's 3-0 win over Heerenveen and CORY GIBBS went the full 90 in Feyenoord's 3-0 win over Roosendaal.

EDDIE LEWIS drew the penalty kick that gave Preston North End a 1-0 win over Burnley. Preston, which has lost just once in 12 games, is in fifth place of the English second tier, from which the top two finishers win promotion to the Premier League and finishers third through sixth enter playoffs for the third promotion spot.

With future MLS players Michael Umana (Los Angeles) and Douglas Sequeira (Chivas USA) in the starting lineup, COSTA RICA won the UNCAF Nations Cup, the Central American championship that serves as qualifying for the 2005 Gold Cup. Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama, the three Hexagonal finalists from Central America, all used less-than-full-strength teams for the tournament. They will be joined by UNCAF runner-up Honduras in the Gold Cup finals. Trinidad & Tobago, the lone Hexagonal finalist from the Caribbean, barely qualified for the Gold Cup, finishing third behind champion Jamaica and Cuba in the CFU Digicel Cup. The Gold Cup draw will be held Thursday, March 2.

CHELSEA downed Liverpool, 3-2, in the English Carling League Cup to earn its first title since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich invested more than $380 million in the club.


Americans CARLOS BOCANEGRA (90 minutes) and BRIAN McBRIDE (4 minutes) were on the losing end with Fulham (2-0) against Tottenham.  The Cottagers are in 15th place of the English Premier League, eight points above the relegation zone.

STEVE CHERUNDOLO received his fifth yellow card of the season in Hannover's 1-0 loss to Schalke and will be suspended for Hannover's (10th place) next game. CONOR CASEY was one of Kicker Magazine's lowest rated players in Mainz's 3-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund. Mainz is one spot and four points above the relegation zone.

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