Aussies Abroad Preview: Socceroo face off in Germany, McGowan's last minute heroics

This weekend, Socceroos Jackson Irvine and Brandon Borrello will meet in the 2. Bundesliga, with both players needing three points for very different reasons.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Cup returns for its quarter-finals on Sunday, as Tom Rogic and his Celtic team travel away to Dundee United, and central defender Ryan McGowan headlines the matches played overnight with an injury time screamer to help his side secure a crucial point in the Middle East.

Read all about it in our latest Aussies Abroad Preview!

Socceroos Japan


Ajdin Hrustic and Eintracht Frankfurt return home this weekend, with the Bundesliga outfit desperate to keep touch with the European positions. The gap between themselves and Freiburg in sixth has extended out to seven points, making victory in their match against mid-table Bochum (Monday 3:30am AEDT) even more important.

In the 2. Bundesliga we have an all-Aussie matchup, with third-placed FC St Pauli travelling East to take on 16th-placed Dynamo Dresden. Both sides come into the match with huge motives for victory, as one fights for promotion while the other tries to claw their way to safety.

Jackson Irvine and St Pauli are on the promising end of the table, with just one point separating themselves with the automatic promotion places. The Hamburg outfit will expect three points this weekend and will need maximum results as the top half tightens up with 11 matches yet to play.

On the other side, Brandon Borrello will be trying to inspire Dynamo to a miraculous escape, with only two extra points needed in order for Dresden to climb back outside the bottom three.

Mainland Europe

To Italy, where Fran Karacic will be given a golden opportunity to right the wrongs of last weekend, when his team Brescia travel to top-of-the-table Lecce in Serie B. Karacic's team had slipped last weekend in their challenge for automatic promotion back to Serie A, after a crushing defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Cremonese. A victory against the league leaders would help Brescia regain a top-two position and step closer to top-flight football.

James Jeggo and his side AS Eupen will play out a crucial clash in Belgium. Eupen have created an three point barrier between themselves and the bottom three, with less than five games to play. If the border-town side manages to snatch three points away at battlers Zulte Waregem (Sunday 4:30am AEDT), then top-flight football will be secured for another campaign.


For KV Kortrijk and Trent Sainsbury, the last four games will be important to help gain momentum. That effort starts with an away fixture at fellow mid-table outfit Cercle Brugge (Sunday 4:30am AEDT), with both sides sitting just a single victory away from each other.

In Denmark, Joel King will hope to continue his promising start in the Superliga as his side Odense BK host Aalborg BK (Tuesday 5am AEDT). The 21-year-old heads into the match having already impressed many in his first four appearances, having started all four and registering his first assist in the league last weekend.

Maty Ryan and Real Sociedad have another campaign of European competition in their sights, with only four points separating themselves and Atletico Madrid, who occupy the last UEFA Champions League qualification position. The team from San Sebastian return to La Liga with a match at home to relegation-bound Alaves (Monday 4:30am AEDT), where three points will be the hosts' expectation.

Kasimpasa may well make it two straight victories for the first time this Turkish Süper Lig season, when they play host to league strugglers Rizespor (Sunday 12am AEDT). Awer Mabil has already proved to be an inspired January signing for Kasimpasa, as results show a dramatic rise in attacking output since his arrival after a troublesome first half of the campaign.

Aziz Behich sits on the same amount of points as his compatriot Mabil, with both teams eyeing a healthy buffer from the bottom 4 that will secure their top-flight status for another season. Behich's team Giresunspor face a tougher challenge this weekend, as they return home to play top-half outfit Gaziantep FK (Tuesday 4am AEDT).

Asia & Middle-East

Kuwaiti football continued this morning, where Socceroo defender Ryan McGowan became the hero for club side Kuwait SC by powering home a 91st minute equaliser in his sides 1-1 draw with Al-Salmiyah.

A frustrating attacking performance from McGowan's team saw the league-leaders fall behind early and struggle to capitalise on the multiple chances presented to them. An injury-time corner forced the 32-year-old into the penalty area for a last roll of the dice. After an initial clearance, the ball managed to deflect toward the path of McGowan who flicked the ball right, past his marker, before firing into the top-right corner of the goal, sending his teammates and bench into raptures.

The football doesn't stop for the Socceroo and Kuwait SC, as they return on Tuesday to an away tie at Al-Fahaheel (3:45am AEDT).


Martin Boyle was also in action midweek for Al-Faisaly, with the forward playing another full 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw which earned his side a crucial point away at Al-Taawon. The Aussie forward was dangerous once again after netting the winner in his last league match, but was unable to add to his goal tally in Saudi Arabia. The result now creates a small piece of daylight between Al-Faisaly and the league's bottom three.

Mitch Duke and Fagiano Okayama have enjoyed a fast start to their J.League 2 season so far, with two victories, a draw and nine goals seeing the side from South Japan lead the league early. Perhaps their greatest early test will come this weekend, when Duke and co. travel to fellow title challengers Machida Zelvia (Sunday 4pm AEDT), who sit equal on points with Okayama, behind in 3rd on goal difference.

United States

Columbus Crew were unlucky not to continue their 100% start to the campaign last weekend, after two late San Jose goals denied Milos Degenek another victory in his first season in the MLS. The Ohio outfit have the chance to retain their crown as Eastern Conference leaders, if they can overcome a star-studded Toronto FC at home this weekend (Sunday 5:30am AEDT).