Socceroos Central: Leckie returns, Degenek wins title

by Ben Somerford on May 31, 2020

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Mathew Leckie made his first appearance for Hertha Berlin since the German Bundesliga resumption as they won 2-0 over Augsburg on Saturday night.

Leckie, who had been frozen out at Hertha, hadn’t been part of any matchday squads since the Bundesliga resumed in mid-May.

However, the Australian was named on the bench by new Hertha boss Bruno Labaddia for the Augsburg clash and got his chance in the 64th minute, replacing forward Vedad Ibisevic.

Leckie was deployed on the right-side although he drifted around the pitch. He seemed off the pace at times and had a heavy touch, but worked hard as his side ground out the win.

Elsewhere, Brandon Borrello didn't make the SC Freiburg squad which went down 1-0 at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night.

Trent Sainsbury and Nikita Rukavytsya were both in the Maccabi Haifa starting line-up as they lost 2-1 at home to Hapoel Tel Aviv upon the resumption of the Israeli Ligat Ha’Al on Saturday.

Fran Karacic started at right-back as Lokomotiva Zagreb qualified for the final of the Croatian Cup on Saturday night with a 3-1 win over Slaven Koprivnica.

Terry Antonis returned from suspension as Suwon Bluewings drew 0-0 away to Busan I’Park in the Korean K League on Saturday.

Antonis had to settle for a spot on the bench, having started on the opening weekend before being sent off against Jeonbuk Motors.

The midfielder was introduced in the 82nd minute as a replacement for compatriot Adam Taggart.

Taggart didn’t have many clear-cut opportunities although he pounced on a loose ball inside the box and tested Busan keeper Kim Jeong-Ho with a powerful strike which was pushed over the top.

Jason Davidson returned to the Ulsan Hyundai starting XI and put in a full shift at left-back as they drew 1-1 with Gwangju on Saturday.

Davidson had a tough time early dealing with Gwangju’s quick goal scorer Eom Won-Sang.

Brandon O'Neill was dropped to the bench and remained an unused sub as Pohang Steelers won 4-1 at Incheon United on Sunday.

Rashid Mahazi wasn't in the Incheon United squad. 

In K2 League, Nick Ansell was finally in the Gyeongnam matchday squad but remained an unused sub as they drew 2-2 with Connor Chapman’s Daejeon Hana Citizen. Chapman was out with injury.

On Friday, Milos Degenek scored a goal as Crvena zvezda celebrated winning the Serbian SuperLiga title with a 5-0 win at Rad Beograd.

Degenek, who started the game in defence, headed in his side's fourth goal in the 57th minute from a corner.

The Socceroo was on hand to celebrate Crvena's title, their third in a row, and Degenek's first with the club.

On Thursday the Danish Superliga resumed with Mustafa Amini and Zach Duncan both in action as AGF drew 1-1 with Randers. Alex Gersbach was absent.

However, it was an unhappy afternoon for Duncan who got a rare start but had to be replaced in the 23rd minute, by Amini, due to injury suffered in a tackle.

It was later confirmed by AGF that Duncan had suffered an ACL injury and would be ruled out for the remainder of the year.

Elsewhere, Awer Mabil's FC Midtjylland are due to play Horsens on Monday. 

Finally, Tomi Juric hit the scoresheet for CSKA Sofia in a 2-0 friendly win over Botev Vratsa ahead of the resumption of the Bulgarian First League.

Juric netted from the penalty spot in the 77th minute in a positive sign ahead of the resumption of league matches next weekend.