Celtic’s bid for an eighth straight championship in Scotland has taken an early hit as they were stunned 1-0 by a Hearts side featuring two Aussies.
Former Adelaide United left-back Ben Garuccio and Caltex Socceroos midfielder Oliver Bozanic both featured for Hearts as they shocked Brendan Rodgers’ men 1-0 at Tynecastle.
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Garuccio has made an excellent start to life in the SPL and played another full match for the home side, with Bozanic coming on for the last 16 minutes to help his side close out a famous victory.
After his exertions in the UEFA Champions League qualifier in midweek, Caltex Socceroos playmaker Tom Rogic was introduced with 20 minutes left and almost scored an equaliser for the Hoops.
After Scott Sinclair was stopped by defender Peter Haring, the ball fell to Rogic who hit a powerful shot which flew inches wide of the post.
Kyle Lafferty was Hearts’ hero, scoring a stunning volley 11 minutes into the second half to make it two-from-two for Craig Levein’s men who sit top of the SPL.
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“Today proved we can be competitive, and we edged the match, but it’s too early to say what we can do. The squad is better balanced, for sure," a beaming Hearts boss said.
"Some of the new players have hit the ground running, some haven’t, but when we get everyone up to speed, we can look at what we’re capable of. Today, I just want to enjoy the result."
Elsewhere in Scotland, Aussie midfielder Andy Rose played 77 minutes for Motherwell as they lost 1-0 at home against Hamilton Academical.
In Germany, Robbie Kruse’s Bochum registered their first win of the new season with a 2-0 victory at MSV Duisburg.
Kruse played the full match for the visitors, who ended the contest with 10 men after the second-half dismissal of goalscorer Sidney Sam.
Finally, it was a disappointing start to the new season in Turkey for Caltex Socceroos left-back Aziz Behich.
Despite taking a 16th-minute lead at heavyweights Fenerbache, Behich’s Bursaspor conceded twice before the break to go down 2-1.