Aussies Abroad: Rogic and Celtic advance to Scottish Cup semis, Sainsbury helps Maccabi Haifa to big win

Tom Rogic’s Celtic joined Martin Boyle’s Hibernian in the semi finals of the Scottish Cup following a 1-0 win against St Johnstone.

The Socceroos attackers could be set for a showdown at Hampden Park after they were drawn on opposite sides of the final four schedule.

Scottish Cup holders Celtic will take on Aberdeen, while Hibs face city rivals Hearts in an Edinburgh Derby, with both semi finals also played Hampden Park in Glasgow on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 of April.

Ryan Christie’s 81st-minute goal booked the Scottish Premier League leaders’ place in the last four as Neil Lennon’s side dominated the hosts at McDiarmid Park in Perth.

Odsonne Edouard hit the post in the first half as the Bhoys laid siege to the Saints’ goal, with Lennon introducing Rogic from the bench in place of striker Leigh Griffiths in the 65th minute in search of a spark.

Christie’s deflected free-kick finally made the breakthrough to clinch Celtic’s 34th straight domestic knockout competition win and set up a semi-final clash with Aberdeen as they search for a fourth straight treble-winning campaign.

Rogic famously netted a stoppage-time winner in the 2016/17 Scottish Cup final against the Dons, and ‘the Wizard of Oz’ also scored against the Reds in the 2018/19 semi-final. 

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Trent Sainsbury helped Maccabi Haifa wrap up the Israeli Premier League regular season in style with a 4-0 win against Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

The Greens advance to the championship round in second place, six points behind leaders Maccabi Tel-Aviv and nine points ahead of third-placed Beitar Jerusalem.

Aussie striker Nikita Rukavytsya scored his 19th of the season and further goals from Tjaronn Chery, Yanic Wildschut and Dolev Haziza wrapped up the convincing win against the fourth-placed outfit.

The Socceroos centre-back has featured in 20 of his club’s 26 matches, starting 19 of them and scoring two goals, during his first campaign in Israel.

Ten further rounds will be played between the top six, with the league winners qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and the second and third place sides advancing to the Europa League.

Elsewhere in Europe, Apostolos Giannou played 82 minutes of AEK Larnaca’s 2-1 win on the road against  Anorthosis Famagusta. A double from Ivan Trickovski earned the points for the Cypriot First Division’s fifth-placed team.

Meanwhile, central midfielder James Jeggo got 90 minutes under his belt in Austria Vienna’s 1-1 mid table battle against Sturm Graz.

Back home in the Hyundai A-League, Jamie Maclaren helped Melbourne City to a 1-0 win against Brisbane Roar, while Josh Risdon featured in Western United thumping 6-2 win against Central Coast Mariners – the biggest win in the club's young history.

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On Sunday morning, Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan’s Brighton slipped to a 1-0 Premier League defeat against M23 derby rivals Crystal Palace.

Ghana international striker Jordan Ayew grabbed the decisive goal at the AMEX Stadium to leave the Seagulls hovering only a point above the drop zone.

In the Championship, Jackson Irvine, Brad Smith and Kenny Dougall were all unused substitutes as Irvine’s Hull City went down 4-0 at home against Leeds United, Smith’s Cardiff drew 2-2 with Brentford and Dougall’s Barnsley fell 2-0 against Reading.

Meanwhile, Harry Souttar and League One promotion-chasers Fleetwood Town had a week off after their match against Tranmere in Merseyside was rained off.

In Germany, Brandon Borrello watched from the bench as SC Freiburg were beaten 1-0 by Borussia Dortmund thanks to a goal from England international Jadon Sancho.

And in the Saudi Pro League, Craig Goodwin played 90 minutes but could not prevent Al-Wehda falling 3-2 on the road against Al-Fateh.

WATCH – Road to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
The first leg
The second step
Socceroos make it three from three
Socceroos register historic win in Jordan


FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 second round qualifying 

Australia v Kuwait
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Venue: HBF Park, Perth
Kick-off: 6.00pm local, 9.00pm AEDT


Nepal v Australia
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Venue: TBC

Australia v Chinese Taipei
Thursday, 4 June 2020
Venue: TBC

Australia v Jordan
Tuesday, 9 June 2020 
Venue: TBC