UEFA Champions League

Kljestan scores first UCL group stage goal in Anderlecht defeat

SachaKljestanAnderlecht1-OlympiakosUCL (AP)


Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan gave his club a nice moment in what was a miserable performance on Tuesday against Olympiakos and a miserable campaign in the UEFA Champions League.

In the 39th minute, former D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar lead a break down the left wing, seeing two teammates to his right. With a curled pass with the outside of Najar’s boot, the ball evaded two defenders and fell at the foot of Anderlecht midfielder Guillaume Gillet in front of goal. Unselfishly, instead of shooting, Gillet passed to Kljestan on his right, who finished easily into an open net.

It’s the first goal for the U.S. Men’s National team midfielder in the Champions League group stage, though Kljestan has scored in the qualifying rounds for Anderlecht in the past. Kljestan now has eight goals on the season in all competitions.

Unfortunately for the Belgian club, Olympiakos took the lead again in the 58th minute through Javier Saviola, who scored the first goal in the match as well. Olympiakos finished the match with a 3-1 victory over an Anderlecht side that finished with eight men on the pitch, after three players were sent off.

Here’s a video of the goal (after the jump):

    • John

      Anderlecht had nothing to loose and kept pushing and then Olympiakos would get on a break and Anderlecht would just foul them. Anderlecht is just a very young team, they even brought on a 16 year old at one point.


    • wfrw07

      The third red was on the goalie who conceded the third PK of the game for Olympiakos. I think a defender was in the pipes for that goal. Olympiakos actually missed the first two penalties they got.


    • usaalltheway

      She is a beautiful woman.

      Did you see the striker from Stoke City’s interview? Peter Crouch (sp?)?

      He was asked if he hadn’t been a footballer, what would he have been. His responses, “A virgin”. It’s too funny. 🙂

      Women love men who are famous, rich and doing well. Sacha is all of those things.


      • Gary Page

        Funny from Crouch. Reminds me of an interview I saw once with Ben Olsen. He had been bought by an English team after some good years in MLS and on the national team and then had a devastating knee injury before playing a game and never played over there. He was asked how his life might be if he hadn’t had that injury. He said, “Well, I’d be driving a better car.”


  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    since Anderlect’s season is over can we have Andy back on loan? Najar and some mediocre attacking players seem to have been the difference between third and last for DC.


    • dude

      I think they’re wary that we’d somehow trap him, maybe steal his visa. What’s good for Qatar is good for the gander.

      JK, but I’d love to have him back.


  • dude

    This is one of my favorite kind of goals.

    When a team creates a situation where they can use sound judgment and understanding to pass it into the net.


  • Sandtrout

    What a goal! What a goal. I love how he subtly, with his instep, lightly curled the ball inside the post and beyond….to the back of the net!

    Seriously, though: Klejstan’s goals this year have not been due to his individual creativity, but when you get enough of them, it’s not a coincidence.


    • Northzax

      Yeah, it shows that his teammates trust him enough they will pass to him. That’s a good thing.


    • Gary Page

      It is indicative of a player making good runs and getting in good positions. That is what makes a good poacher.


  • Rey Pygsterio

    Would have been nice to be able to see the highlights on the nightly hour-long Fox Soccer News/Report.

    A true tragedy to American soccer that this show is not still with us.


    • NC Jeff

      If we blindly just took 23 players based solely on how they were performing with their club, almost certainly. However, they have to also fit in well with the system their national team runs (which may be vastly different than their club’s), be a good fit chemistry-wise, and actually be 1 of the 2 best at his position in actual performing for country. Just as some are great for club, but not country, some are the reverse. In short, if Sasha can show over the next few months that he can contribute for the USMNT as he’s done for Anderlecht, then yes, but it’s not a given.


    • Gary Page

      My guess is that he is on the dreaded bubble.He has the misfortune of playing a position that is one of the deepest in the player pool. Some pretty good midfielders for the US will be watching the World Cup from the stands or on TV.


    • beto

      figure there will be around 4 central holding mid’s on the roster
      central holding mid’s: Bradley, Jones are locks. Beckerman, Mix, Kljestan -> pick 2, maybe 3.


  • Gary Page

    The implication from the article and the posts is that Anderlecht lost all 3 players in one half. I can’t think of another time I have ever heard of a team losing 3 players to red in one game, much less in one half.


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