American Exports: Bolton, Holden reach FA semis
AMSTERDAM – Stuart Holden and Bolton made their way to the FA Cup final four with a wild 3-2 victory at Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon.
The former Houston Dynamo ace worked a competent 90 minutes in the middle of the park as Wanderers reached the semis for the first time since 2000 on the strength of Lee Chung-Yong's last-minute winner.
The semifinal matchups will be drawn on Sunday afternoon, with the games to be played at Wembley on April 16-17.
In English Championship play, Hull City netminder Brad Guzan made a small bushel of saves and got a few more from his defenders as the visitors survived a second-half onslaught to book a 1-0 win at Coventry City. The victory established a new Tigers record by running their away unbeaten streak to 14 games.
Derby County sub Conor Doyle set up the decider as the home side snapped a Pride Park win drought with a 2-1 decision over second-place Swansea City. Just after starting his 40-minute shift, the young American served up a corner kick for Steven Davies to nod home as the Rams scored their first home victory since November.
Eric Lichaj and Leeds United took advantage of Swansea's misfortune to climb to within two points of the automatic promotion slot they tentatively hold after a 0-0 draw with Ipswich Town. The home side was unable to translate its possession dominance, which included a couple of dangerous surges from the US defender, into a winner.
Down in League One, Mike Grella put a stamp on an impressive 79-minute outing by bagging his first Swindon Town goal, but the hosts conceded late to settle for a 1-1 share with Dagenham Redbridge. A minute before halftime, the Leeds United loanee used his strength to apply the fatal touch to a flicked-on long ball.
Across the channel in France's Ligue 1, Carlos Bocanegra and Saint-Étienne got well with a 2-0 win over visiting Brest. Les Verts snapped a four-game losing slide to provisionally climb four rungs to sixth place.
Next door in Germany's Bundesliga, Timothy Chandler saw yellow during his 90 minutes at right back as FC Nürnberg pulled to within a point of the last Europa League place with a last gasp 2-1 win at Wolfsburg.
Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Ricardo Clark returned from an injury layoff by working the first half of a 2-1 loss at Schalke.
In Jupiler League play, 90-minute man Sacha Kljestan hit the woodwork just before Anderlecht fired home a first-half opener, but the visitors were made to suffer late as Eupen rallied for a 1-1 draw. Despite the disappointment of seeing their winless streak across all competitions reach five games, Les Mauves did edge into first place a point ahead of beaten Genk.
Over in Turkey's Süper Lig, Jozy Altidore also rattled the frame as defending champs Bursaspor slipped to seven points off the title pace with a 1-1 draw at Karabükspor. Before departing on 70 minutes, the former Red Bulls striker saw his lefty bid for a club account opening winner carom back off the inside of the post.
In Denmark's SAS Liga, a fully recovered Chris Rolfe dressed for the first time since last April, but did not feature in Aalborg's tough 1-0 loss to visiting league leaders FC Copenhagen.