A number of Socceroos featured in the Europa League's opening day. Ange Postecoglou Celtic blew their lead in a seven goal Europa League stunner. Several other Socceroos' teams saw action in both the Europa League and the new Europa Conference League.
Celtic FC faced Real Betis in their first match of Group G of this year's Europa League. It was Australian coach Ange Postecoglou's first ever match in a European competition.
The game started brilliantly for Postecoglou and fellow Australian Tom Rogić. A first goal by Albian Ajeti in the 13th minute of play saw Celtic take the lead.
Then, thirteen minutes later, Betis goalkeeper Claudio Bravo took down Celtic's Ajeti in the eighteen yard box when trying to dive and intercept the ball. Rogić's teammate Josip Juranović made it two for Celtic when he converted the penalty kick.
As is often stated, the worse lead in football is 2-0. Celtic fell to this cliché. After the second Scottish goal, Betis equalized with two quick goals in the 32nd and 34th minute of play.
They then scored two more in the first ten minutes of the second half to make it 4-2 for Betis. Anthony Ralston's 87th minute goal for Celtic gave the Scottish side a chance at an equalizer. However, it was too little too late. They ultimately lost the game 4-3.
This loss is the third of Celtic's 2021-22 season, one mired by a number of injuries. Earlier this week Ange Postecoglou stated to the Daily Record that things were "not great' and that the injuries to his squad has lead it to being "in a constant state of flux."
Currently fifth in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic next face Livingston this Sunday, September 19.
In other Europa League Australian news, Awer Mabil came on in the 75' minute of play for his Danish club Midtjylland's Europa League clash against Ludogorets. The score ended as it was at the time of this substitution, 1-1. This has left Midjylland third in group F.
Also in group F, Milos Degenek played the full ninety minutes in Braga's 2-1 loss to FK Crvena Zvezda. He will face fellow Aussie Mabil in both men's next Europa League match.
Deni Jurić featured in Dinamo Zagreb's game against to West Ham United. He played the second half of the 2-0 loss that left Dinamo last in Group H.
Matt Ryan's Real Sociedad drew 2-2 to PSV in Group B while Ajdin Hrustic's Eintracht Frankfurt drew Fenerbahçe 1-1 in Group D. Both men were unused substitutes.
James Holland played 64 minutes for LASK. His Australian side won their first game in Group A in the newly established Europa Conference League.
The Europa League and Europa Conference League resumes play in two weeks on September 30th.