Aussies Abroad: Nikita Rukavytsya's Golden Boot inspires Maccabi Haifa to historic title

Nikita Rukavytsya capped off a memorable campaign with Maccabi Haifa by scoring as his side wrapped up the Israeli Premier League title on the final day of the season.

The Socceroos striker scored his 23rd goal of the season in a 3-2 victory over Hapoel Be'er Sheva, which not only secured the Aussie back-to-back Golden Boots, but also saw Maccabi Haifa lift their first league title in a decade. 

Heading into the final fixture of the campaign, Rukavystya's side held a two point lead over Maccabi Tel Aviv who were looking to snatch away the lead that they had held for the majority of the year. 

But with an expectant home crowd of 30,000 in attendance, Maccabi Haifa raced out to a 3-0 half time lead, with the Australian marksman scoring their second in the 34th minute. 

While there were some nervy moments late on as the score was reeled back in to 3-2 with ten minutes remaining, a late goal conceded by Maccabi Tel Aviv all but sealed a historic 13th Championship for Maccabi Haifa. 

The chance to celebrate with the club's passionate fans was all the more sweet for Rukavystya and his teammates considering the challenges of the past 12 months. 

The jubilant scenes signalled the end of a long competition that was halted on two occassions due to COVID-19 and saw Rukavystya personally have to overcome the challenges of a lengthy stint out with injury. 

But the 33-year-old's final day goal proved that he his back at his goalscoring best, and will be looking to carry his red-hot form onto the international stage when the Socceroos continue their FIFA World Cup Qualifying journey this week. 

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In other Aussies Abroad news, Kenny Dougall stole the show in the League One Play-Off Final, scoring a brace to secure Blackpool passage to the Championship. 

In Japan, Adam Taggart started his first match for Cerezo Osaka and played 72 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Vegalta Sendai on Sunday afternoon.

The pair, alongside Rukavystya, will now head directly to Kuwait to link up with the Socceroos ahead of a packed schedule of four matches in the space of 12 days. 

READ MORE: Kenny Dougall brace fires Blackpool into the Championship