Aussies Abroad: Boyle fires double for Hibernian in first game of season
Martin Boyle was in fine form on the opening weekend of the Scottish Premiership after he scored a brace for Hibernian in their 2-1 win against Kilmarnock on Sunday morning.
Socceroos and Hibernian striker Martin Boyle was at the centre of the action at Easter Road last weekend as he ran riot with two goals in his side’s season opener.
Boyle’s first goal arrived on five minutes after he slotted his effort past the onrushing Kilmarnock goalkeeper.
“To get there first it was a relief, I think the defender made it quite tough because he slipped in front of me, so I had to improvise and take it on the right and take a low driven shot,” Boyle told HIBS TV.
Fast forward 29 minutes and his second arrived after his strike from the right side of the box found its way into the bottom left corner.
“I think it was all about getting good contact, it went through the defender’s legs but nine times out of ten if you get a good strike then they normally go in and thankfully it did,” Boyle said.
After an admittedly slow start in pre-season, Boyle joked that he told Hibs coach Jack Ross that he'd been holding back ahead of the first game of the season.
"I keep winding him (coach Jack Ross) up saying I was holding it back a wee bit just for today," said Boyle.
He added: "But I think I’ve been a wee bit behind but performances like that make it sweeter and hopefully I can kick on."
Ross was impressed with Boyle's performance and praised his abilities to create and score chances even though he was deployed in a slightly different position in this match.
"It’s all about being ready for today and he was," said Ross.
"He carries that threat… because of his pace but then his goalscoring ability and ability to create chances is terrific. You’ve got to give him credit because he’s playing in a slightly different role today."
Tom Rogic was an unused substitute for Celtic as they ran out 5-1 winners against Hamilton Academical on Monday morning.
In the J League, Thomas Deng played a full game in the heart of defence for Urawa Red Diamonds as they drew 1-1 against Shimizu S-Pulse on Saturday night.
A Shimizu goal in the final five minutes of the contest prevented Urawa from recording back-to-back wins.
Mitch Langerak was in between the sticks for Nagoya Grampus as they lost 1-0 at home to Kashiwa Reysol on Saturday night.
That was Grampus’ first defeat this campaign and was only the first time that Langerak has conceded since their 2-2 draw against Gamba Osaka on July 8.
Socceroos defender Milos Degenek was an unused substitute for FK Crvena Zvezda in the Serbian SuperLiga on Sunday morning.
Degenek’s side began their 2020/21 season with a 3-0 win at home to Novi Pazar.
In the K League, Brandon O’Neill put in a full shift for Pohang Steelers as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Jeonbuk FC on Saturday night.
Pohang played with 10 men for just over an hour after midfielder Manuel Palacios was dismissed in the 31st minute.
Adam Taggart and Terry Antonis’ Suwon Bluewings went down 1-0 to Daegu FC on Sunday night.
Taggart played the full game up front for the Bluewings as they were dealt a sucker blow with the decisive goal arriving in the 88th minute.
Antonis was an unused substitute.
Over to the English Championship where Brad Smith and his Cardiff City were knocked out of the playoffs after they lost 2-1 against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Friday morning.
The defeat killed off Cardiff’s chances of Premier League football next season as they prepare to bounce back from the heartbreak before having another crack next campaign.
Meanwhile, defender Bailey Wright has signed a two-year deal with Sunderland after impressing at the club throughout a loan spell last season.
After arriving at Sunderland, Wright helped the club keep five clean sheets in six games before an ankle injury ended his campaign.
Wright said: “It feels really good to get the deal done and I just can’t wait to get up to the North East and join the squad. Although I only worked with the manager for a short spell, I really enjoyed the structure and discipline of the team. He expects his players to give everything on the pitch and be good people, and we have that culture within the dressing room. We are heading in the right direction and I’m very confident we can achieve our ambitions next season.”