Socceroos Central: Luongo & Rukavytsya net in Europe

by Ben Somerford on Jun 28, 2020

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Massimo Luongo and Nikita Rukavytsya both scored goals, while Mathew Leckie potentially signed off from Hertha Berlin and Callum Elder got an assist in the Championship.

Massimo Luongo netted the winner as Sheffield Wednesday triumphed 2-1 away to Bristol City in the English Championship on Sunday.

Luongo, who started and played 76 minutes, struck in the 59th minute to make it 2-0, lashing home a loose ball from a corner.

The Socceroo received a 7/10 from the Yorkshire Post who wrote: “Was pushed a little further forward in the second period.

“Grabbed his third goal of the season after the Robins failed to clear a Wednesday corner. A key cog in the Owls midfield.”

Nikita Rukavytsya scored his 20th league goal of the 2019-20 campaign as Maccabi Haifa booked their European spot for next season with a 2-1 victory over Hapoel Beer-Sheva in Israel’s Premier League on Saturday.

Rukavytsya opened the scoring with a 12th minute strike for Haifa, who will finish runners-up to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Aussie was credited with the goal although it was with a big stroke of fortune after a teammate's shot deflected off his backside and into the back of the net.

The Socceroo has netted 20 league goals and 22 times in all competitions this season, representing the best return of any Australians overseas.

Rukavytsya and Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury both started Saturday’s clash.

In the German Bundesliga on Saturday, Mathew Leckie may have made his final appearance for Hertha Berlin as they lost 2-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach on the final day of the season.

Leckie was introduced as a half-time substitute in a game which was a dead rubber for midtable Hertha, while his former club Gladbach were playing to seal a UEFA Champions League spot.

The Socceroo combined with Arne Meier for a 55th minute chance, which Leckie fired over the bar.

Leckie is contracted with Hertha beyond this season but is known to be exploring his options.

Brandon Borrello was an unused sub as SC Freiburg won 4-0 over Schalke on the final day of the season.

In the Austrian Bundesliga on Saturday, Jimmy Jeggo put in a full shift as Austria Vienna lost 5-2 at home to St Polten, while James Holland played a full game as LASK lost 1-0 to Wolfsberger AC on Sunday.

In the Danish Superliga on Sunday, Awer Mabil got an assist as FC Midtyjlland moved closer to securing the title with a 2-1 win at FC Copenhagen.

Mabil, who played the full 90, fluffed a 22nd minute chance from a cross, which fell at his feet but he hurriedly fired over the bar from close range.

In the 86th minute, Mabil released Lasse Vibe into space behind the Copenhagen defence with a well-weighted pass before he coolly converted to make it 2-0.

The result sees Midtjylland move 11 points clear at the summit with six games to go.

On Friday in Denmark, Alex Gersbach got rare minutes as an 82nd minute substitute in AGF’s 4-1 home loss to AaB. Mustafa Amini was absent.

In the Turkish Super Lig on Sunday, Aziz Behich was an unused sub again as leaders Istanbul Basaksehir stumbled with a 1-1 draw with Galatasaray.

In the Croatian Prva HNL on Friday, Anthony Kalik put in a full shift as HNK Gorica won 2-1 away to NK Rijeka.

In the English Championship on Saturday, Aussie full-back Callum Elder played a full game and got an assist as relegation battlers Hull City claimed a 3-3 draw at Birmingham City.

Elder whipped in a second minute left-foot cross from a set-piece which Josh Magennis headed in.

The Australian earned a 6/10 rating from the Hull Daily Mail for his whole performance, they wrote: “Sent in a wicked free-kick for Magennis to put City ahead, meaning his team-mate only had to change the ball’s direction.

“Played well from that point and came up with some sound decision making.”

Elsewhere, Brad Smith was an unused sub as promotion hopefuls Cardiff City won 3-1 at Preston, while Adam Federici was absent again for Stoke City.

Kenny Dougall was absent for Barnsley as they drew 0-0 with Millwall ahead of his release from the club which takes effect from June 30.

In the Korean K League on Saturday, Rashid Mahazi put in a full shift in midfield for Incheon United as they lost 1-0 at FC Seoul.

On Friday night, Brandon O’Neill played a full game with his clever pass helping set up his side’s second goal in Pohang Steelers’ 2-0 victory at Gwangju.

Connor Chapman made his return from injury for Daejeon Hana Citizen as a half-time substitute in their 3-3 draw with Anyang in the Korean K2 League on Sunday.

On Sunday in the Korean K League, Adam Taggart started and played 65 minutes as Suwon Bluewings lost 1-0 at home to Sangju Sangmu.

Taggart set up one of Suwon’s best chances of the first chance, with a nice throughball in the 35th minute for Kim Min-Woo whose curling shot was saved.

Terry Antonis was a 70th minute substitute for the Bluewings.

Unused subs

Nick Ansell
Notable absentees
Jason Davidson, Bailey Wright