Dempsey vs. Donovan: The two Americans faced off today in the FA Cup (AP Photo). Wonder if they exchanged jerseys.
Landon Donovan continues to excel for Everton with a headline-grabbing game today. Associated Press sports writer Stuart Condie has the story:
LONDON (AP) — On-loan forward Landon Donovan led Everton to its first ever FA Cup win over Fulham and a place in the fifth round on Friday, setting up both goals in his team’s 2-1 win at Goodison.
Fulham had progressed in the FA Cup on all four previous occasions it had been drawn against Everton, and led again against the Toffees through Danny Murphy’s 14th-minute penalty.
But Donovan, in the sixth game of his second loan spell from the Galaxy set up a 27th-minute equalizer for Denis Stracqualursi and then provided the assist for Marouane Fellaini’s 73rd-minute winner.
“Landon’s been great since he’s been here,” Everton assistant manager Steve Round said. “He’s a real diamond of a guy, he’s a very intelligent footballer and the lads all like him. You’ve seen the quality of his end product, whether it be from crosses or set plays. “He’s a top player.”
Rafael van der Vaart scored a 42nd-minute goal for Tottenham in a 1-0 win at League Championship side Watford in Friday’s other fourth-round match.
But Donovan provided arguably the day’s standout performance, helping his side to victory over a Fulham side containing his United States teammate, Clint Dempsey.
Teammates on the last two U.S. World Cup teams, Donovan and Dempsey had not faced each other since May 2006, when Dempsey’s New England Revolution beat the Galaxy 4-0.
This was only the seventh time they had played against each other overall.
After Murphy scored a penalty awarded for a handball by Netherlands defender John Heitinga, Donovan crossed for Stracqualursi to head firmly past Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale.
Dempsey, who has scored two hat tricks in his last three games for Fulham, headed over the bar at the start of the second half following a cross by Bryan Ruiz before Donovan went close with a shot across goal from distance.
Donovan set up the decisive goal with a deep cross to the far post, from where Fellaini guided a header back across Stockdale and into the top corner.
Fulham beat Everton on its way to the 1975 FA Cup final — one of only two finals the west London club has ever reached — and edged out the Toffees in a replay in the teams’ most recent tournament meeting in 2004.