Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s touching message after Euro debut

Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has shared a touching message to his social media followers after making his European debut for KRC Genk on Friday morning AEST.

Vukovic was one of a host of Aussies in action in Europe — with UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League qualifiers underway.

Here’s a wrap of the Aussies Abroad from mid-week …

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VUKOVIC’S TOUCHING POST AFTER WIN

Former Hyundai A-League goalkeeper Danny Vukovic was able to share a special moment with his son, Harley, after making a winning start to his European career.

Vukovic, who enjoyed a stellar debut season with KRC Genk and was a member of the Caltex Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup squad, was between the sticks for the first time in a Europa League clash.

Genk hosted Polish club Lech Poznan, earning a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Ruslan Malinovskiy and Mbwana Samatta either side of half time.

The clean sheet for Vukovic is another boost to Genk before they travel to Poznan for the return leg next Friday — with the club now in a strong position to reach the play-off round (the final qualifying stage before the UEFA Europa League).

“First time playing in Europa League,” the Aussie posted after the game. 

“Great win and got to celebrate it with my boy after the game! He had a ball!”

ROGIC’S CELTIC HELD IN SHOCK RESULT

In an earlier UEFA Champions League play-off, Tom Rogic’s Celtic earned a surprise result at home to Greek side AEK Athens — held 1-1.

Rogic, who started the match and played just over an hour, saw his side take the lead via an early Callum McGregor strike, only to see Viktor Klonaridis pull AEK level.

AEK were then reduced to 10-men, with Konstantinos Galanopoulos sent off, however the Hoops were unable to conjure up an extra attacking spark after Rogic was replaced soon after.

The result means Celtic must now travel to Athens on Wednesday 15 August AEST and earn either a win or a score draw (scoring more than once) to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.

OTHER AUSSIES IN EUROPEAN ACTION

Caltex Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren made a brief stint off the bench for Hibernian in his second game after re-joining the club on loan.

Having impressed for the Scottish club on loan from SV Darmstadt last season, Maclaren’s eight goals in 11 starts also earned him a ticket to the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

After confirming his return to Hibernian and joining up with the club late after the FIFA World Cup, Maclaren was introduced in the 94th minute of Hibs’ 0-0 draw with Norwegian side Molde in their first leg of the UEFA Europa League play-off.

Apostolos Giannou was another Aussie in action in the UEFA Europa League, grabbing an assist in AEK Larnaca’s 2-0 away win over Austrian side Sturm Graz.

Striker Tomi Juric did not feature in FC Luzern’s squad as they fell 4-0 to Olympiakos. 

Finally, Alex Gersbach was an unused substitute for Rosenborg as they beat Cork City 2-0 on the road.

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This article was originally published on the Caltex Socceroos website.
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