Aussies Abroad: Holman on the mark

Off-contract Socceroos star Brett Holman enhanced his bargaining power by scoring his third goal in four league matches for Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar.

Off-contract Socceroos star Brett Holman enhanced his bargaining power by scoring his third goal in four league matches for Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar.

The 27-year-old, who returned from a groin injury midweek, put the home side in front in the 12th minute by firing an angled shot beyond ADO Den Haag goalkeeper Gino Coutinho in the 3-0 victory.

Alkmaar have now won 10 of 12 matches this season and stretched their lead at the top of the table to six points.

Holman is one of the first players picked in the national team these days but his club contract expires at the end of the season. AZ Alkmaar officials have conceded it could be difficult to retain his services because of financial constraints.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has said the former Parramatta Power player should be playing in the Bundesliga or Barclays Premier League.

If Holman maintains his form, AZ Alkmaar could be tempted to cash in on Holman during the January transfer window rather than allow him to become a free agent.

The hard-running midfielder/striker will link up with his national teammates this week for World Cup qualifiers in Oman (Friday) and Thailand (November 15).

Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd is expected to miss out on his first Socceroos squad because of an injury sustained in his Premier League club's 3-2 win over Norwich City.

Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's Fulham lost 3-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur while his No.2, Adam Federici, produced another blinder for Reading in the nPowerChampionship.

Federici, who started in the national side's convincing home wins over Malaysia and Oman last month, added his sixth clean sheet for Reading this season in a 1-0 home win over Birmingham City.

He particularly frustrated New Zealand's Chris Wood, producing a number of reflex saves to keep out the in-form Birmingham striker.

In Scotland, Matt McKay has impressed in his run-on debut in the Scottish Premier League for Rangers who extended their lead in the competition with a 3-1 win over Dundee United.

The former Brisbane Roar star set up their opening goal with an inch-perfect cross for striker Nikica Jelavic who leapt to bullet a header past the goalkeeper.

Meanwhile in Turkey, Socceroo James Troisi scored a last-minute consolation goal as Kayserispor lost 2-1 to Trabzonspor.

Scott McDonald broke a lengthy goal drought with the winner in Middlesbrough's controversial 1-0 win over Watford in the nPower Championship.

McDonald, who has been not been part of Osieck's recent national squads, had not previously scored since mid-August.

Neil Kilkenny set up the final goal as resurgent Bristol City continued their climb off the foot of the Championship table with a 3-1 win over Burnley.

Mile Jedinak was recalled to the Crystal Palace line-up after being rested midweek but he had little impact as Cardiff City emerged with a 2-0 triumph.

Striker Josh Kennedy continued his great recent form with his 17th goal of the season as Nagoya Grampus beat Cerezo Osaka 3-1 in the J-League in mid-week action.

Eddy Bosnar was also on the mark in Japan, scoring in Shimizu S-Pulse's 2-2 draw at Avispa Fukuoka.

In the United Arab Emirates, veteran Mark Bresciano netted his first goal for Al Nasr in the 2-1 success at Dubai Club.