There were loads of Aussies turning out for their club sides with mixed results and a little bit of ill-discipline over the weekend.
Football leagues the world over have returned to action this weekend following the international break. There were loads of Aussies turning out for their club sides with mixed results and a little bit of ill-discipline.
Mile Jedinak fulfilled a boyhood dream, with Crystal Palace travelling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Unfortunately there wasn-t a happy ending at the “Theatre of Dreams” for the Eagles, with their side reduced to 10-men and ultimately going down 2-0 to the title holders.
Jedinak led his team out alongside a Red Devils side that contained Wayne Rooney, who was sporting protective headgear after sustaining a head wound that kept him out of England duty. Palace made just one change to the team that beat Sunderland 3-1 in their last outing.
Jedinak again received plaudits for his punishing defence, which may yet see Holger Osieck trial the 29-year-old at centre-back for the Socceroos. Palace were able to keep United at bay for the majority of the contest but the dismissal of Kagisho Dikgacoi, who gave away a penalty in the process, ultimately proved to be their undoing.
Palace can take heart from the fact they only conceded goals from the penalty spot and via a spectacular free-kick from Wayne Rooney. However it does not change the fact they are lingering down the bottom of the ladder with just the three points to show from their four appearances.
Elsewhere in the English Premier League, Mark Schwarzer watched Chelsea go down to Everton from the bench, while Chris Herd was not in the squad as Aston Villa slumped to a home defeat to Newcastle.
There was more unhappiness in the Championship as Shane Lowry was sent-off and Scott McDonald played a full match in Millwall-s 5-1 loss to Derby County. Lowry saw red in the 51st minute for a late tackle as his side slumped to bottom place in the league.
Socceroo central defender Sasa Ognenovski was also shown red as his club side Umm-Salal went down by a goal in their first match of the season in Qatar. Ognenovski earning the ire of the referee in the 81st minute as his team went down to Mu-aidar.
Robbie Kruse fared better in Germany, again coming on as a late substitute as Bayer Leverkusen moved into second place in the Bundesliga on the back of their 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.
Mitch Langerak-s Borussia Dortmund retained top spot with a 6-2 hammering of Hamburg, although the Aussie shot-stopper had to again watch proceedings from the bench.
Elsewhere in Europe, Matt Ryan had a hand or two in Club Brugge-s 4-1 win, which sees his club move to second in Belgium. James Holland made another start for FK Austria Wien but was unable to prevent his side slumping to a 2-3 home defeat.
Crossing to Asia and Socceroos Josh Kennedy and Lucas Neill both started for their respective sides in the J-League. Unfortunately neither was able to erase the memory of the Brazil international, as they both went down for the second time in a week.
Mark Bresciano also made a start for his club side, Al Gharafa as they drew on their travels, while Brett Holman played a full match for Al Nasr but his side walked away from their encounter empty handed.
Perhaps the best news story stemming from the weekend is that Balestier Khalsa, who are coached by Aussie Darren Stewart won the Singapore League Cup final. Stewart, who was named Australian footballer of the year in 1993, managed his side to a resounding 4-0 win over Brunei DPMM.
Currently in his second season with the club, Stewart clearly enjoyed the win but was quick to deflect credit to his players.
“It-s all about the team, the players - they are the ones who did all this. It-s nothing about me, I just watch the games and tonight, I loved it,” he said.
“Looking back at the game now, it could have been more but I was not surprised with how we played because I know that we can play well."