Sacha Kljestan becomes latest American to score in UEFA Champions League
Sacha Kljestan’s foray into the Champions League did not yield a berth in the knockout round for his Belgian club, Anderlecht, but it certainly did not lack headlines.
Between Kljestan’s run-in with PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a game in which he also had an assist and was sent off and Tuesday’s noteworthy moment, the U.S. midfielder left his mark on the 2013 group stage, which ended with his side bowing out of Europe with a last-place finish in Group C.
Kljestan’s 39th-minute equalizer against Olympiakos made him the fifth American to score in the Champions League, joining Jovan Kirovski, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and, most recently, Jermaine Jones as Yanks to score on Europe’s grand stage. It wasn’t enough to send his side out with points, though, as Olympiakos finished off a 3-1 victory in Piraeus over 8-man (yes, THREE red cards, none of which were awarded to Kljestan) Anderlecht.
Kljestan’s goal, off a counterattack that he finished off for his career-high eighth goal in all competitions this season (and it’s only December), can be seen below: