Socceroos Central: Rukavytsya double, Vukovic heartbreak

by Ben Somerford on Mar 19, 2018

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Nikita Rukavytsya scored a double in Israel, while Massimo Luongo maintained his good form in front of goal in the highlights of the weekend’s Aussies abroad action.

In the Israeli Ligat Ha’al on Saturday, Nikita Rukavytsya scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season in Maccabi Haifa’s 4-0 win over Hapoel Acre.

Rukavytsya opened the scoring in the 19th minute after working a neat one-two inside the box, before a neat left-foot finish when in one-on-one.

The 2018 World Cup hopeful doubled his side’s advantage on 50 minutes when played in, unleashing a left-foot shot which was too powerful for the opposition keeper.

Rukavytsya appears one of coach Bert van Marwijk’s leading options in attack, having made his squad for next week’s friendlies against Norway and Colombia.

In the English Championship on Saturday, Massimo Luongo scored his third goal in five matches in QPR’s come-from-behind 2-2 draw at Fulham.

Luongo scored with a clever volley on the turn on the stroke of half-time.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Bailey Wright and James Meredith both played full games, Tim Cahill was a 90th minute sub, Jackson Irvine was replaced after 57 minutes and Mile Jedinak was left on the pine. 

In the English Premier League on Saturday, Aaron Mooy put in a full shift as Huddersfield went down 2-0 at home to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, Mat Ryan was absent as Brighton & Hove Albion were bundled out of the FA Cup going down 2-0 to Manchester United.

In the Belgian Cup final on Saturday, Danny Vukovic played a full game as Genk lost in extra-time 1-0 to Standard Liege.

Vukovic was beaten by Renaud Emond’s 92nd minute strike to leave Genk shattered.

In the German 2.Bundesliga on Saturday, Robbie Kruse played a full game and got the assist for the decisive goal as VfL Bochum won 3-2 at Sandhausen.

In the Dutch Eredivisie on Sunday, Brad Jones was in goal as Feyenoord edged a seven-goal thriller, beating PEC Zwolle 4-3.

Jones, who earned a Socceroos recall last week, wasn't culpable for any of the goals and made a good one-on-one in the 69th minute.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Kenny Dougall put in a full shift as Sparta Rotterdam lost 5-2 to Ajax, while Ajdin Hrustic started and played 74 minutes as Groningen lost 3-2 away to AZ Alkmaar.

In the Scottish Premier League on Friday, Jamie Maclaren started but was replaced after 16 minutes as a sacrifice after goalkeeper Ofir Marciano was sent off in Hibernian’s 1-1 draw at St Johnstone.

Elsewhere in the SPL, Tom Rogic got through a full game for the first time since early December as Celtic drew 0-0 with Motherwell on Sunday.

Full games

Aziz Behich, Jimmy Jeggo, James Holland, Mustafa Amini, Apostolos Giannou, Cam Burgess, Ryan Williams, Callum Elder, Milos Degenek, Mitch Langerak, Connor Chapman
Awer Mabil – SB 90, Ryan Edwards – SB 64, Scott McDonald – SB 46, Bradden Inman – ST 73, Alex Gersbach – ST 49, Tomi Juric - ST 70, Kwame Yeboah – SB 77, Ben Halloran – SB 83, Mitch Duke - ST 82, Kwabena Appiah – ST 79, Dylan McGowan – SB 62, Anthony Caceres – ST 44
Unused subs
Mark Birighitti, Craig Goodwin, Mathew Leckie, Tommy Oar, Jesse Curran
Notable absentees
Andrew Nabbout, Trent Sainsbury, Matt Jurman, Bernie Ibini, Aleksandar Susnjar, Golgol Mebrahtu