Aussies Abroad: captain Sainsbury in big clash in Switzerland

Caltex Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury continues to rack up some crucial game time ahead of the FIFA World Cup, playing another full game for Grasshopper Zurich in Switzerland.

Sainsbury, who was captain for the match, was excellent for his side but was unable to help them get all three points, beating 1-0 by high-flying Basel.

Norwegian international Mohamed Elyounoussi scored the only goal of the game 16 minutes from time.

After overcoming injury – which kept him out of last month’s friendlies against Norway and Colombia – Sainsbury is getting back to full fitness.

The 26-year-old has now started the last three games in the Swiss Super League which is great signs for Caltex Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk heading towards Russia.

And the fact he was given the captaincy despite only just breaking into the starting XI shows the impact the former Central Coast Mariners defender is having at the club.

Elsewhere, Aussie gloveman Brad Jones had a comfortable outing in the Eredivisie with his Feyenoord side cruising to a big win at Willem II.

The Rotterdam club only led 1-0 at the break but their class came to the fore in the second-half, eventually prevailing 5-1 at the Koning Willem II Stadion.

Also in the Netherlands, Craig Goodwin and Kenneth Dougall watched from the bench as their Sparta Rotterdam side recorded a crucial 2-1 win over Mark Birighitti’s NAC Breda.

The result has seen Sparta move to within three points of safety with two games still to play.

Their next match is the Rotterdam Derby against Jones’ Feyenoord on April 29.

Brad Jones
Brad Jones