Aussies Abroad: Brighton rescue point on Ryan’s 100th game

Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy helped Brighton & Hove Albion come back to claim a valuable point against Watford in the battle for Premier League survival.

A 78th minute own goal from Adrian Mariappa gifted the Seagulls a share of the points after Abdoulaye Doucoure had netted the opener for the Hornets in the 19th minute.

It was a 100th club appearance for Socceroos number one Ryan, and Mooy almost gave the home side the perfect start at the AMEX Stadium but his defence-splitting 15th-minute reverse pass slid away from Glenn Murray.

French midfielder Doucoure hit an outstanding strike to beat Ryan, before Mooy drilled over from Murray’s knock-down on 26 minutes as Graham Potters’ side searched for a response.

It was a long time coming, but Mooy’s low drive was denied by visiting keeper Ben Foster on 77 minutes after a bursting run from the Socceroos playmaker. And, a minute later, substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh slammed in a low cross that Mariappa turned beyond his own goalkeeper.

The point keeps Brighton in 15th place, three points ahead of the drop zone, as 19th-place Watford missed a chance to climb to safety with 12 matches left to play in the 2019/20 season. 

Aaron Mooy provided a creative spark for Brighton against Watford
Aaron Mooy provided a creative spark for Brighton against Watford


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Over in the Netherlands, Ajdin Hrustic played 90 minutes and helped FC Groningen to three points in the Dutch Eredivisie in a 1-0 win against Vitesse Arnhem.

A 13th-minute penalty from Ramon Lundqvist proved to be enough for the Green and White Army to make it seven points from four games since returning from the winter break, climbing to eighth position in the Dutch top-flight table.

In the English Championship, Jackson Irvine and Hull City put an end to a four-match losing steak with a 1-1 draw against fellow mid-table side Reading.

Irvine went close to opening the scoring in the first-half with an attempt from the edge of the area, before The Tigers fell behind to Jordan Obita’s 56th-minute effort.

Mallik Wilks’ deflected effort on 82 minutes earned Hull a share of the points, while Kenny Dougall remained an unused substitute in Barnley’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

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With the race for the League One playoffs hotting up, two Socceroos defenders were on the winning side as their teams chase a place in the Championship for the 2020/21 season.

Recent Sunderland signing, Bailey Wright, helped his new club to a clean sheet in a 1-0 win to overtake promotion rivals Ipswich Town in the sixth and final playoff place.

Chris Maguire’s 81st-minute strike was enough to send the Black Cats ahead of the Tractor Boys in sixth place. Meanwhile, Harry Souttar’s Fleetwood Town are in hot pursuit.

The Cod Army recorded a 2-1 win on the road against AFC Wimbledon, thanks to a late Paddy Madden winner, and they climb to ninth place, three points off the top six.  

Down under, Western Sydney Wanderers captain Mitchell Duke did not get to go up against Socceroos teammates and Sydney FC stars Andrew Redmayne and Ryhan Grant. Due to heavy rain in the Harbour City, Saturday’s Sydney Derby was postponed.

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