Aussies abroad: good news for Dutch-based duo

Goalkeeper Brad Jones continued his decent start with NEC Nijmegen, completing a full shift in a 1-1 draw with De Graafschap.

Jones conceded in the 11th minute but a late equaliser from Marcel Ritzmaier saw NEC claim a point and stay fifth in the Eredivisie.

And former Brisbane Roar youth player Kenneth Dougall has helped Sparta Rotterdam extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches in Netherlands' second tier.

With Dougall playing a full match in defence on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT), the Eerste Divisie leaders maintained their seven point lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over VVV Venlo.

Sparta haven't lost since the end of October when they dumped out of the KNVB Beker, while their last league defeat came at the hands of second-placed NAC Breda on October 23.

Dougall, 22, who left the Roar in 2013 and arrived in Netherlands around a year later, has played 20 matches for Sparta in 2015-16, starting all of them.


SPARTA-VVV-04956.JPGRotterdam - voetbal - Sparta Rotterdam - VVV Venlo - de 1 - 0 van Thomas Verhaar - Mart Dijkstra - Loris Brogno foto Carla Vos/Cor Vos © 2015

Posted by Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday, February 7, 2016

In other action on Sunday, Mat Ryan and Valencia suffered their third consecutive defeat, going down 1-0 at Real Betis in La Liga.

Ryan and Co. will need to pull themselves together quickly ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday against Barcelona. 

They lost the first leg to a rampant Messi and Co. 7-0. 

In Greece, Kerem Bulut replaced Giannis Pasas in the 21st minute as Iraklis defeated Pas Giannina 1-0, while Adam Federici sat on the bench as AFC Bournemouth lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the Premier League.