Tim Weah's go-ahead goal wound up being a consolation strike for Lille.
The U.S. men's national team forward had given his French side the lead vs. Ajax in the first leg of the Europa League's round of 32, but the Dutch power scored twice in the final minutes to take a 2-1 away win and control of the series.
Nevertheless, it was Weah who got the ball rolling, breaking the deadlock by pouncing onto a poor backpass from Nicolas Tagliafico and accurately firing into the back of the net with a first-time finish in the 72nd minute.
The goal was Weah's second in the Europa League this season–he scored against former club Celtic in the group stage–and fifth in all competitions. Unfortunately for Weah, Dusan Tadic's 87th-minute penalty and Brian Brobbey's 89th-minute winner netted Ajax two away goals and the edge heading into the return leg.
Weah wasn't the only U.S.-eligible forward to score in the Europa League on Thursday. Jordan Siebatcheu scored twice for Switzerland's Young Boys, including an 89th-minute winner that salvaged a 4-3 victory over Bayer Leverkusen after Young Boys had blown a 3-0 lead. The goals were the ninth and 10th in all competitions this season for the Washington, D.C.-born, 24-year-old striker, who is on loan from French club Rennes.
Other Americans endured mixed results in the competition on the day. Hoffenheim, which just took Chris Richards on loan from Bayern Munich, blew a 3-1 halftime lead to settle for a 3-3 draw vs. Molde. Richards did have a hand in his side's third goal, though.
Elsewhere, manager Jesse Marsch and midfielder Brenden Aaronson's Salzburg fell 2-0 to Villarreal in the home leg, leaving plenty of work to be done in the second leg if they are to continue on to the round of 16.