AUSSIES ABROAD: It was a mixed weekend for the overseas Aussies with goals, injuries & red cards all playing a part in the action.
In Holland, Brett Holman had a mixed bag for AZ Alkmaar providing an assist before being sent off in AZ’s 2-2 draw with Vitesse. Holman provided the assist on 59 minutes before being sent off four minutes later for his second bookable offence.
Jason Davidson watched on from the bench as Heracles were thumped 6-0 by Ajax. That result sees Ajax leapfrog Holman’s AZ Alkmaar at the top of the Eredivisie.
On Friday, Tommy Oar was an 89th minute substitute for Utrecht, and had an instant impact scoring the winner in a 3-2 victory over Excelsior. Oar was released in space in the box before finishing under Excelsior ‘keeper Wesley de Ruiter. Michael Zullo watched the drama from the bench, while Adam Sarota was not in the match-day squad.
And in Turkey, James Troisi continued the goal-scoring form with a 91st minute equaliser in Kayserispor’s 2-2 draw with Kerem Bulut’s Eskisehirspor. Troisi played the full 90 minutes and capped off the game nodding home after an error in judgement from the Eskisehirspor ‘keeper. Bulut was not in the match-day squad.
Meanwhile, Socceroos skipper Lucas Neill had a day to forget in the UAE while putting in a full shift as Al Jazira went down 3-2 to relegation threatened Emirates. Neill gave away two penalties in the 66th & 83rd minute, receiving a yellow card for his troubles as Al Jazira dropped to third in the Pro-League.
Mark Bresciano was absent as Al Nasr defeated Al Sharjah 3-2.
In Korea, Nathan Burns made his debut for Incheon United but had little impact being replaced just before half time in the 0-0 draw with Gyeongnam. Burns had a decent chance on 40 minutes but sprayed his shot wide. For Gyeongnam, Luke Devere put in a full shift.
Sasa Ognenovski was again missing with a hamstring injury as struggling Seongnam lost 1-0 at home to Matt McKay’s Busan I’Park. McKay was replaced on 83 minutes before Chang-Soo Kim scored the winner in the 89th minute.
Robert Cornthwaite put in a full shift as Chunnam Dragons lost 1-0 at Pohang. Cornthwaite picked up a booking in the 48th minute. Matt Simon was not in the Chunnam match-day squad.
Adrian Madaschi was missing with a thigh problem in Jeju United’s 3-0 win over Daejeon Citizen.
In the English Premier League, Mark Schwarzer put in a full shift in Fulham’s 2-1 win over Norwich. Schwarzer had a quiet game, barely called upon before being beaten by a deflected shot from Aaron Wilbraham.
Tim Cahill also had a quiet game for Everton, picking up a yellow card before being replaced on the hour in Everton’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Chris Herd played 70 minutes in Aston Villa’s 4-2 loss at home to Chelsea. Herd had his work cut out by a rampant Chelsea side who continually put the Villa defence under pressure.
Elsewhere Brad Jones was not in the Liverpool squad which lost 2-0 at Newcastle, however he may enter the fray in the coming weeks as Liverpool custodian Pepe Reina was sent off for a head-butt on Newcastle defender James Perch.
In the Championship, Adam Federici played the full 90 minutes as Reading moved four points clear in the second automatic promotion spot with a 4-2 win over third-placed West Ham. Federici had a solid yet unspectacular game, conceding two goals while making a handful of decent saves.
Neil Kilkenny put in a full shift as Bristol City earned a point at home to Derby. In a game containing minimal chances, Kilkenny came close as a goalbound shot was blocked by Rams ‘keeper Frank Fielding. The point leaves Bristol one point from safety with six games remaining.
Defender Shane Lowry worked hard for 90 minutes to help Millwall keep a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw away to Cardiff.
And Scott McDonald made his return from a knee injury, playing the final 21 minutes in Middlesbrough's 1-1 draw at Brighton. Fellow Aussie Rhys Williams remained on Boro's sidelines with an ankle injury.
There were more injury problems in the Championship for Mile Jedinak, Patrick Kisnorbo & Richard Garcia who were all absent with groin and knee injuries respectively.
In League One, Dean Bouzanis received his first start for Oldham through an injury to fellow Aussie ‘keeper Alex Cisak last week in Oldham’s 1-0 loss to Notts County. Bouzanis made two quality saves in the first half before conceding a 89th minute winner to County left-back Alan Sheehan. James Wesolowski also missed the clash with a shoulder injury.
Elsewhere in League One, Bailey Wright put in a full shift as Preston North End lost 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday with Wright picking up a first half booking.
In League Two, Aussie defender Aaron Downes was an unused substitute as Bristol Rovers lost 1-0 to top of the table Swindon Town.
Shane Candsell-Sherriff put in a full shift as Shrewsbury drew 1-1 with fellow Aussie Jamie Young’s Aldershot. Young played the full 90 minutes in goal and produced an excellent diving save in the first half to deny Mark Knight before conceding in the 78th minute when Marvin Morgan scored with a superb solo effort.
Elsewhere, Daniel Leach was absent from the Barnet squad which lost 1-0 at home to second placed Torquay.
In Scotland where defender Ryan McGowan had a game to remember, scoring a goal and providing an assist in Hearts 3-0 win over Aberdeen. McGowan headed home from a corner after 27 minutes, before providing the assist for Rudi Skacel just after half time. Elsewhere in the SPL, Aaron Mooy was an unused substitute as St Mirren beat Kilmarnock 4-2.
In Germany, Nikita Rukavytsya played all game as Hertha Berlin slipped to a disappointing 4-1 home defeat to Wolfsburg to leave them entrenched in the relegation zone. Rukavytsya had a key role in Hertha’s only goal, the games opener, having his initial shot saved which fell into the path of Levan Kobiashvili to strike home.
Mathew Leckie was absent from the Borussia Monchengladbach squad as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Hannover 96.
On Friday, Mitch Langarek watched from the bench as Borussia Dortumund & Stuttgart played out a pulsating 4-4 draw.
In Italy, Carl Valeri was a 58th minute substitute as Sassuolo conceded a last minute goal to draw 2-2 at Valeri’s former side, Grosseto.
In Russia, Luke Wilkshire put in a full shift in Dinamo Moscow’s 2-0 win at Lokomotiv Moscow. Wilkshire picked up a booking in the first half.
In Austria, James Holland was a 45th minute substitute as Austria Wien conceded a last minute goal to draw 1-1 at home to Salzburg.
In Switzerland, Scott Chipperfield was again absent with a groin injury as Basel beat FC Thun 3-2.
In the J-League, Eddy Bosnar put in a full shift as Suwon Bluewings defeated Seoul 2-0.
Alex Brosque put in a full shift as Shimizu S-Pulse beat Jade North’s Consadole Sapporo 1-0. North picked up a yellow card in the second half.
Matt Spiranovic was again missing from the Urawa Red Diamonds squad in their 1-1 draw with Kawasaki Frontale.
Josh Kennedy put in a full shift as Nagoya Grampus drew 1-1 away to Omiya Ardija. The Australian striker had a goal disallowed in the second half for offside in horrendous conditions.
In China, Joel Griffiths put in a full shift as Shanghai Shenhua lost 1-0 at home to Guangzhou Evergrande. Griffiths had a great chance to score on 74 minutes but poked wide after the Guangzhou ‘keeper Yang Jun parried a long range effort.
Milan Susak was an unused substitute in Tianjin Teda’s 3-1 loss away to Beijing Guoan. Former Roar striker Reinaldo was on target for Beijing, opening the scoring in the 51st minute.
Mile Sterjovski put in a full shift and collected an assist as Dalian Aerbin drew 1-1 with Liaoning Whowin, but Rostyn Griffiths was an unused substitute as Guangzhou R&P defeated Hangzhou 1-0.
Jonas Salley put in a full shift, picking up a first half booking as Shanghai Shenxin lost 1-0 at Changchun Yatai.
In the Chinese Second Division, Adam Hughes put in a full shift as Harbin Yiteng lost 2-1 to Brendon Santalab’s Chengdu Blades. Santalab was not in the match-day squad.
And in Uzbekistan on Thursday, David Carney played the full 90 minutes as Bunyodkor thumped second tier side Nasaf II in the Uzbekistan Cup. Carney provided the assist for the first goal on 49 minutes delivering the corner which was headed home by Anvarjon Soliev.