Aussies Abroad: Boyle scores significant strike as Socceroos play last games before crucial qualifier

Socceroos forward Martin Boyle is heading into camp following a solid few weeks in Saudi Arabia, capped off by a goal in Al Faisaly's vital victory on Friday morning (AEDT). 

Al Fateh headed into Friday's fixture favourites, after defeating Boyle's side 4-1 earlier this season, but it was the Australian international who proved the difference this time around - scoring the sole goal in a 1-0 win at home. 

Boyle's third goal following his transfer from Scotland takes Al Faisaly up to 11th in the table, giving them a crucial buffer above the relegation zone. 

To find out more about how Boyle is adjusting to his new surroundings, check out the latest Socceroos Podcast: 

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The Socceroos squad for their upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers has now been selected, with Australian fans getting the chance to see their stars in action this weekend before they travel into camp during the week. 

Tom Rogic and Denis Genreau find themselves battling a hotly-contested title race in Scotland and France respectively, while Awer Mabil will look to continue his red-hot form in Turkey before returning for international duty.

England & Scotland

Fresh off a convincing 3-0 victory in the Scottish Cup, Tom Rogic's Celtic look primed to continue their charge toward another Scottish Premiership title. Standing in the way of Ange Postecoglou's men is mid-table Dundee United who travel to Celtic Park (Sunday 2am AEDT), having previously been a difficult proposition for the league's top sides so far. A win is mandatory, with rivals Rangers nipping at Celtic's heels, just 3 points below the green and white in 2nd.

One player that has forced his way into the Socceroos squad after a plethora of strong performances in Scotland is defender Nathaniel Atkinson, who will look to make his national team debut in a week's time, against either Japan or Saudi Arabia. Currently however, the wing-back stars for third-placed Hearts, who will hope to extend their dominance in the top-half of the Premiership with a win at home to battlers Livingston FC (Sunday 2am AEDT).

READ: Bruno Fornaroli's first interview following shock Socceroos call-up

WATCH: Graham Arnold announces his latest squad 


Ajdin Hrustic will be entering Australia'a two crucial World Cup qualifiers after a tough recent schedule for Eintracht Frankfurt which has seen them traverse the top sides in Germany and Europe. His final clash in the Bundesliga before setting off Sydney comes in the nation's east, away at 4th place RB Leipzig (Monday 1:30am AEDT), who only sit just seven points above Frankfurt, yet occupy that last crucial UEFA Champions League position.

FC St Pauli will need to brush off their recent period of inconsistency, if they are to be promoted automatically, out of the 2. Bundesliga's top two. Having now performed well for over the last two matches, the challenge for Jackson Irvine's team will be to extend that run at the top, with promotion rivals Heidenheim being the next to travel north to Hamburg.

Socceroos Japan

Mainland Europe

Fresh off another Socceroos selection, midfielder Denis Genreau will line-up for Toulouse FC, as they lead chase a return to the first division of French football, having recently found themselves top of Ligue 2. Their match-up this weekend may well define their chances at automatic promotion, with the side from the South travelling to title rivals Auxurre (Sunday 1am AEDT), who sit just two places behind the league leaders.

Now to Turkey, where Giresunspor find themselves in a fight for league safety, yet Aziz Behich's side has slowly accumulated a decent gap of six points now, above their challengers within Turkey's bottom four. The aim will be to extend that margain by an extra three points, as Behich's team travel to mid-table outfit Antalyaspor.

Behich will be off to Sydney after that, with all in the green and gold praying for clearer skies, after a blizzard blocked the full-back from travelling to Melbourne in January.

Following him from Turkey is in-form forward Awer Mabil, who will attempt to carry his recent goalscoring record in the Turkish Süper Lig, to the Socceroos side in 6 days. His side Kasimpasa sit on the same points as Behich's team, yet boost a far superior record over the past month, with two consecutive victories seeing the side push themselves up from the bottom 4 and into id-table.

Their next battle should be one of ease, with Kasimpasa taking on the league's bottom side Yeni Malataspor (Saturday 9:30pm AEDT), in a clash where anything less than a victory will count as a disappointment.


With safety in their sights, James Jeggo will hope to leave for the international break, knowing his team AS Eupen will have retained their Belgian top flight status for another campaign. To achieve definite safety, the side that sits along the German border will need to win at home against European hopefuls Mechelen (Sunday 2:15am AEDT), along with rivals RFC Seraing dropping points.

Trent Sainsbury and Kortijk will hope for a promising last three matches to their Belgian First Division campaign, with the defender having set his side up for a respectable mid-table finish, after a number of inspired performances in the red and white. The next test will come against one of the league's giants Standard Liege, who travel to face Sainsbury and Co this weekend (Monday 2am AEDT).

Still waiting for his first win in new colours is Joel King, who has nothing to show for 4 promising starts to open the campaign for Odensk BK. His best chance for three points comes this weekend, with King's team travelling to league battlers Vejle (Monday 12:30am AEDT) who sit within Denmark's bottom two.

Fran Karacic's Brescia have fallen off their perch in recent times, having dropped from the top of Serie B to 5th, after a month of difficult matches. Many would excuse Karacic for having one eye on Japan and Saudi Arabia, yet the wing-back will be hungry to leave his team on a positive note, with the promotion hopefuls given a priceless opportunity at three points, away at last place Pordenone (Monday 2:15am AEDT).

Another wildcard selected for Graham Arnold's squad is midfielder Gianni Stensness, who currently plies his trade in Scandanavia, with Norwegian side Viking FotballKlubb. Although the season is yet to restart, Stensness may well leave his northern surroundings after a victory in the team's pre-season knockout cup, against Kameratene FUM (Sunday 2:15am AEDT).

Asia & The Middle East

Mitch Duke will face his toughest test so far this season in Japan, with his side Fagiano Okayama, who are currently fighting for promotion, playing host to early J2 leaders Yokohama FC (Sunday 4pm AEDT). The bounce-back factor may very well be on for Duke, who suffered his first defeat last weekend at Machida, which saw an uncharacteristic attacking display, not seen from the team who scored nine goals in their first three matches.

United States

It's a top-of-the-table clash in the MLS' Eastern conference this weekend, with the New York Red Bulls playing host to the surprise leaders Columbus Crew (Monday 5am AEDT). The Ohio side have flown out of the blocks, with Milos Degenek helping steady the ship in defence, with 2 victories and a draw recorded to start the campaign.

The Crew's attacking outputs has been the best in the competition so far as well, with the Aussie centre-back unfortunate to have not chimed in with a headed goal, to add to his resolute performances behind the pack.