U.S. ABROAD: Kirovski shines in English Holiday action

Jovan Kirovski, who didn't earn a start for Birmingham until December, scored twice over the holidays and was a bright spot for the Blues in a loss to Manchester United.


* Brad Friedel (Blackburn, PL) vs. West Ham, 2-2 (Dec. 28).

Started: 90 minutes. Friedel was the victim of a Martin Taylor own goal and a Jermain Defoe header. Blackburn is in 11th place.

* Brad Friedel (Blackburn, PL) at Liverpool, 1-1 (Dec. 26).

Started: 90 minutes. Friedel conceded a 17th-minute goal to John Arne Riise.

Friedel's holiday schedule: Jan. 1, vs. Middlesbrough.

* Kasey Keller (Tottenham, PL) at Newcastle, 1-2 (Dec. 29)

Started: 90 minutes.

Keller, who made a superb reflex save on Aaron Hughes, had no chance on goals by Gary Speed and Alan Shearer.

Tottenham is in 8th place.

* Kasey Keller (Tottenham, PL) vs. Charlton, 2-2, (Dec. 26)

Started: 90 minutes.

Keller conceded two goals to Jason Euell, but Tottenham avoided what would have been only its second home defeat of the year thanks to goals by Robbie Keane and Steffen Iversen in the final 22 minutes.

* Kasey Keller (Tottenham, PL) at Manchester City, 3-2 (Dec. 23)

Started: 90 minutes.

Keller's holiday schedule: Jan. 1, at Southampton.

* Jovan Kirovski (Birmingham, PL) at Manchester United, 0-2 (Dec. 28).

Started: 90 minutes. Against the club he joined as a teenager before moving to Germany and Portugal, Kirovski came close to scoring with a rocket header that forced a fine save from Fabien Barthez. Kirovski also set up a clear chance for Aliou Cisse, who was also denied by Barthez.

Birmingham is in 15th place.

* Jovan Kirovski (Birmingham, PL) vs. Everton, 1-1 (Dec. 26)

Started: 61 minutes. Kirovski, who scored his first Premier League goal in his first start for Birmingham two weeks ago, was on target in his third straight start.

Kirovski's holiday schedule: Jan. 1, at Leeds.

* Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, D1) vs. Derby, 2-1 (Dec. 28).

Started: 90 minutes.

Reading broke its three-game losing streak. Hahnemann was praised for a save on Craig Burley minutes after Burley beat the American from the penalty spot. Reading is in 6th place.

* Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, D1) at Coventry, 0-2 (Dec. 26).

Started: 90 minutes. Reading suffered its third straight loss, following a 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest Dec. 21 and a 2-0 loss to Sheffield United Dec. 14, when Hahnemann's shutout streak ended at 756 minutes.

Hahnemann's holiday schedule: Jan. 1, vs. Leicester.

* Eddie Lewis (Preston North End, D1) at Crystal Palace, 0-2 (Dec. 28)

Entered as sub in 62nd minute by which time Palace had notched both its goals.

Preston is in 18th place.

* Eddie Lewis (Preston North End, D1) vs. Rotherham, 0-2 (Dec. 26).

Started: 78 minutes.

Lewis' holiday schedule: Jan. 1, at Stoke.

* Joe-Max Moore (Everton, PL)

Moore is no longer eligible to play for Everton; his work permit has expired and he requested that the team not apply for its renewal.

* Claudio Reyna (Sunderland, PL)

Reyna is recovering from knee surgery and out until next spring. Sunderland is in 18th-place of the 20-team Premier League.

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