It was a weekend of both the old and the new for Aussie stars around the world, as a number of old rivalries were rekindled in derby games, while three Saudi-based Socceroos made debuts for their new clubs.
As well as Tom Rogic in the Old Firm clash, Australia had representatives in Sunday’s meeting of the two Shanghai clubs and the M23 derby – named after a motorway, of all things – between Crystal Palace and Brighton.
None of them, however, ended up on the winning side.
The return of Saudi Arabia’s Pro League was able to provide some Socceroo success stories, namely in the form of a dramatic debut goal for Dimitri Petratos.
And in the English Championship there was yet another debut, this time for Riley McGree at Birmingham City, who came up against compatriot Massimo Luongo and his Sheffield Wednesday side.
Although there were no Australians in the Merseyside or Milan derbies, there was at least a Socceroo presence as rivalries were reignited in Scotland, Shanghai and England’s southeast.
In the biggest fixture in the Scottish game, Celtic and Rangers met in the 421st Glasgow derby clash, with Tom Rogic coming on as a second-half substitute for the reigning champions.
By that point, though, the Hoops were already two goals down, with Connor Goldson’s brace putting Rangers in the driving seat, and Rogic was unable to make much of an impact with just 23 minutes of playing time.
More could be said of Aaron Mooy, in China, who played the full game as Shanghai SIPG visited city rivals Shanghai Shenhua.
The ex-Brighton man almost grabbed an assist when he played in Wang Shenchao just before the hour mark, but the defender fired wide from close range, and the scores ended level at 0-0.
So too did former teammate Mat Ryan have to settle for a share of the spoils in Brighton’s visit to rivals Crystal Palace.
The 28-year-old was booked in the 18th minute as Albion appealed against a penalty decision – a penalty the hosts promptly converted – but a 90th-minute leveller earned the Seasiders a fourth Premier League point of the season.
Proud of the boys for their fighting spirit and character in a game which is always extra special for us all. Lots of positives from the performance and will keep working hard for more improvement and better results 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/2vUUjE20tf— Maty Ryan (@MatyRyan) October 18, 2020
Pro League underway
A quintet of Aussie stars were in action during the opening round of the Saudi Arabian Pro League – including three debutants – with ex-Newcastle Jet forward Dimitri Petratos scoring in his first outing for Al Wadha in a dramatic turnaround.
Petratos was introduced after 63 minutes with his new side 1-0 down to Al Qadsiah, but stepped up to net an 89th-minute penalty to level the scores before Ahmed Jaber bagged the winner five minutes into stoppage time.
Also playing for Al Qadsiah was Perth-born defender Rhys Williams.
Late drama at the King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium 😲@alwehdaclub1 bounce back after scoring 2⃣ goals by Aussie new-joiner Dimitri Petratos and Eritrean striker Ahmed Abdoh to earn their first win of the season over @qadisiyah1967 🇦🇺🇪🇷#OurLeague 🇸🇦⚽️ pic.twitter.com/WpBRr7vCJT— Saudi Pro League (@SPL_EN) October 18, 2020
Petratos had looked set to play alongside compatriot Craig Goodwin at Al Wadha this term, but just last week the latter was loaned out to Abha, with whom he made his debut for on Saturday in a 1-0 defeat to Al Shabab.
Elsewhere, Mitchell Duke was unable to inspire his Al Taawon side to victory against Al Faisaly, despite going 1-0 up inside two minutes. Igor Rossi then equalised for the visitors as the scores finished level at 1-1.
Next up for Al Taawon is Brad Jones and his Al Nassr teammates, who got off to a bad start with a 2-1 defeat against Al Fateh on Sunday.
Meeting in the Midlands
Australian duo Riley McGree and Massimo Luongo faced off in club action as Birmingham City hosted Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon UK time.
McGree was making his debut for Birmingham, having signed on loan for the season from newly founded US side Charlotte FC.
The winner of last year’s A-League Young Player of the Season award had only joined the American outfit at the start of October, signing from Adelaide United, but was immediately loaned out to England as Charlotte is not due to enter the MLS until 2022.
On Saturday he began life in England’s Midlands as a substitute and was introduced just before the hour mark – by which point Wednesday was already a goal up courtesy of Barry Bannan’s penalty.
From there, the scores remained unchanged, earning Luongo and his side the bragging rights – plus the compliments of his manager, just about.
“He was very good apart from the last five minutes when he got done twice and I shouted at him!” said boss Garry Monk in his post-match interview.
“I was very pleased with him.”
Rounding up the rest
- Mathew Leckie made his first Bundesliga start in more than a year but could not prevent Hertha Berlin from losing 2-0 at home to Stuttgart. Leckie was subbed off at half-time but is back in the fold having spent much of last season out of favour.
- There was no debut for Ajdin Hrustic at new club Eintracht Frankfurt. The winger remained on the bench in the 1-1 draw at Koln after penning a three-year deal in Germany last month.
- Elsewhere, Brandon Borello played the first half of Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 2-2 draw with Jahn Regensburg in the 2. Bundesliga.
- And in the Regionalliga, Jacob Italiano and Christian Theoharous both started in Borussia Monchengladbach under-23’s 3-2 defeat at Sportfreunde Lotte. Theoharous was booked and subbed off at half-time.
- Stoke City kept a remarkable seventh successive clean sheet away from home in a 2-0 win at Luton, with Harry Souttar playing the full game in defence. The Potters have conceded just one goal from open play in the eight games their Scottish-born Socceroo has played in all competitions this term.
- Hull City’s Callum Elder put in a top performance against Rochdale, helping his side keep a clean sheet and setting up the opening goal from a corner in the Tigers’ 3-0 victory. Hull now sit second in the League One standings.
- Top of the table Ipswich Town, meanwhile, beat Cameron Burgess’ Accrington Stanley 2-0. Burgess played the full game in defence but was booked on 80 minutes.
- Sunderland, marshalled by vice-captain Bailey Wright in defence, kept a fourth successive league clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Swindon Town to move up to fifth in League One.
- Portsmouth’s Ryan Williams came on for the final nine minutes against Doncaster Rovers but could not prevent his team from losing 1-0 and slipping to tenth in the table.
- In League One’s battle of the Athletics, Charlton won 1-0 against Wigan with Ashley Maynard-Brewer remaining an unused substitute.
- Jack Iredale grabbed an assist in as League Two table-toppers Cambridge United cruised to a crushing 5-0 victory away from home. The full-back teed up Joe Ironside for Cambridge’s fifth goal.
- And Thomas Beadling played 59 minutes as Barrow went down 1-0 against Harrogate Town.
- Hibernian drew a blank but could have claimed all three points if Martin Boyle hadn't been hauled back by Ross County's Connor Randall on the halfway line late in the game. Randall was sent off as he was deemed the last man, with Boyle having turned him and ready to bear down on goal.
- Aaron Lennox conceded two late goals in Montrose’s 3-1 loss to Falkirk in either side’s Scottish League One opener. And in League Two, Willam Baynham played his first league game for Queen’s Park in a goalless draw at Stirling Albion.
- For the fourth successive league game, Daniel Arzani was brought on as a late substitute for Utrecht in the Eredivisie. He played the last six minutes of a 0-0 draw with Groningen. All of his appearances this season have come from the bench.
- Mitchell Langerak’s fine run of clean sheets for Nagoya Grampus was halted on Sunday. The 32-year-old conceded three goals against Kawasaki Frontale – more than his previous five J1 League outings combined – as Nagoya went down 3-0.
- In Japan’s third tier, meanwhile, Pierce Waring played 57 minutes for Cerezo Osaka’s under 23 side in a goalless draw with Kagoshima United.
- For the second game in a row, Adam Taggart drew a blank for Suwon Bluewings, which drew 0-0 with Busan IPark on Sunday. He has now scored three goals in his last seven games, all of which came in the 3-1 victory over Seoul last month. Terry Antonis was an unused sub in the draw with Busan.
- Former Melbourne City and Western United midfielder Connor Chapman played 90 minutes for Daejeon Hana Citizen as the Korean second division side lost 1-0 to Bucheon 1995.
- Defender Shane Lowry helped Al Ahli keep a third clean sheet in as many league games after a 2-0 win over Al Sailiya. Al Ahli is top of the Qatari Stars League with four wins from four this term.
- Sint-Truiden, managed by Kevin Muscat, is now just two points clear of the relegation places in the Belgian top-flight after a 6-3 loss to Beerschot, who had raced to a 5-0 lead within 40 minutes.
- Compatriot Trent Sainsbury faired rather better at Kortijk, helping his side to a 2-1 win over Mechelen to move into the play-off qualification places.
- And veteran Danny Vukovic was between the sticks as Genk defeated leaders Sporting Charleroi by the same scoreline.
- Awer Mabil played 72 minutes as Midtjylland eventually won 3-1 against Odense in the Danish Superliga. Midtjylland is now just two points behind leaders Brondby, who lost 2-0 to a Sonderjyske side featuring Lawrence Thomas in goal. Thomas was booked late on, but that won’t take the shine off of his second clean sheet of the domestic campaign.
- Defender Aziz Behich was denied a debut for Kayserispor in the Turkish top-flight after his move from Istanbul Basaksehir. He remained on the bench for his new side’s 3-1 home loss to Sivasspor.
- Elsewhere in Turkey’s third tier, Emre Balci was also an unused substitute in Iskenderun’s 4-0 defeat to Nazilli Belediyespor, as was Yaren Sozer in Esenler Erokspor’s 3-1 win over Sile Yildizspor.
- LASK midfielder James Holland played the first half of his side’s 3-0 win over second-tier Worgl in the Austrian Cup.
- James Jeggo picked up a first-half booking and was subbed off on 58 minutes as Aris beat Apollon Smirnis 1-0 to remain top of the Greek Super League. Brother Luc, meanwhile, was on the bench for Bryne in its 2-0 win over Flekkeroy to remain top of the Norwegian second flight.
- Also in Greece, Apostolos Giannou played the last 10 minutes of OFI’s 2-2 draw with Panathinaikos, in which Pana netted a 94th-minute equaliser.
- Italian-based youngsters Gabriel Cleur and Alberto Del Grosso were both unused substitutes on Saturday, Cleur remaining on the bench for Virtus Entella’s 1-1 draw with Reggina Serie B and Del Grosso for Serie C table-toppers Lecco in a goalless draw with Carrarese.
- And so too were Danny Choi and Samuel Silvera on the bench, but unused, in Casa Pia’s 2-1 win over Porto II in the Portuguese second tier. Anthony Carter played 76 minutes of Academico Viseu's 2-0 loss to Cova Piedade in the same division. Carter's side are now bottom of the standings but have a game in hand.
- Anthony Kalik was booked and substituted as HNK Gorica lost 3-2 to Dinamo Zagreb in the clash between Croatia’s top two sides. Dinamo extends its lead at the top to three points as a result.
- In the second tier on Friday night, Phillip Cancar remained on the bench for Hrvatski Dragovoljac in a 1-1 draw with Bijelo Brdo.
- Midfielder Peter Makrillos played the last 12 minutes of Mariehamn’s 3-2 loss against SJK in Finland. Late drama saw Mariehamn take the lead, concede an equaliser and then go behind, all in the last six minutes.
- Defender Ante Bakmaz played 90 minutes in Comuna Recea’s 2-1 loss against Petrolul 52 in Romania’s second tier.
- Former Aussie youth player Kearyn Baccus was booked during Kaizer Chief’s 2-1 win over Maritzburg United in South Africa’s 8 Cup quarter-final.
- Hougang United defeated top of the table Tampines Rovers 2-1 in the Singapore Premier League, with Zachary Anderson starting and finishing the game for the victors.
- Lachlan McLean played 64 minutes as Greenville Triumph lost 2-1 to Omaha Union in the USL League One. Omaha scored its winner two minutes after McLean was brought off.
- Joshua Phelps played 70 minutes and was booked as Tormenta defeated Richmond Kickers 1-0 in the same division.
- Martin Lo remained on the bench in Vietnam’s V.League 1 on Friday as Hai Phong went down 1-0 against Song Lam Nghe An. The former now sit top of the standings in the relegation round, the latter is just four points clear of bottom place.