Aussies Abroad: Caltex Socceroos reach Saudi Cup semis

Caltex Socceroos defenders Milos Degenek and Matthew Jurman are in the King Cup semi-finals in Saudi Arabia after wins for their respective club sides Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad on Tuesday morning (AEDT).

Degenek, who moved to the Saudi Pro League giants from Red Star Belgrade in January, was required to go the distance in Al-Hilal’s 3-2 victory over Al-Ettifaq, with the 24-year-old anchoring the defence for 120 minutes. 

Al-Hilal appeared to be crashing out following an 87th-minute strike from Al-Ettifaq’s Cristian Guanca, but a stoppage-time equaliser from Mohammed Jahfali sent affairs into extra time.

Benfica loanee Andre Carrillo, who scored for Peru against the Caltex Socceroos in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, was the goal-scoring hero for Al-Hilal in the first half of extra time.

Meanwhile, Matthew Jurman did not feature in a 4-3 win for reigning King Cup champions Al-Ittihad over Al-Batin.

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Milos Degenek has been a mainstay for Al-Hilal since his signature in January from Red Star Belgrade

Danish Superliga thriller for Amini

Caltex Socceroo Mustafa Amini was involved in a compelling Danish Superliga playoff tie for AGF earlier on Tuesday, with a last-minute equaliser earning his side a 2-2 draw with Vejle BK.

A midfield mainstay for the Aarhus-based side throughout the campaign, Amini completed 90 minutes of the contest which ended with teammate Patrick Mortensen levelling the scores in the third minute of stoppage time.

Earlier, AGF’s Jens Stage had broken the deadlock on the hour mark, only for Vejle to equalise through Alan Goncalves Sousa and take the lead with six minutes remaining via Jonas Andersen.

But Mortensen’s strike at the death ensures AGF and Amini still sit top of their playoff group, meaning they are on course for a UEFA Europa League playoff match in May.

Mustafa Amini's AGF sit top of their playoff pool. They are on the hunt for a UEFA Europa League playoff spot