Tom Rogic’s Celtic FC furthered their push for league honours on Sunday AEDT with an important win in the Scottish Premier League.
The midfielder came on as a second half substitute at Celtic Park as the league-leading Hoops accounted for Ross County 3-0.
Prior to his entry in the 70th minute, Celtic had stormed to a three-goal advantage through a first-half penalty from Callum McGregor and a second-half brace from French youth international Odsonne Edouard.
The win moves Celtic five points clear in the title race ahead of Old Firm rivals Rangers, who play on Monday morning AEDT.
Staying in Scotland, Martin Boyle and his Hibernian teammates had to settle for a share of the points in a hard-fought 0-0 away draw with Motherwell.
Despite being in red-hot form in recent weeks and playing a full ninety minutes, Boyle’s side proved second best for much of the contest with just two shots on target.
However, the Socceroos attacker came close to delivering his side the points after laying on a cross for Florian Kamberi at close range that his teammate headed onto the post.
Motherwell also struck the frame late on when Motherwell’s Christy Manzinga saw a second half strike tipped on to the bar.
Cup exits for Socceroos in England
In England, it was a disappointing weekend for a pair of Socceroos as their sides tumbled out of the FA Cup in the Fourth Round on Sunday morning AEDT.
Kenneth Dougall was a 69th minute substitute for Barnsley in their 4-2 away defeat to Portsmouth at Frattan Park.
Pompey laid the platform to advance in the first half with goals from Ben Close and John Marquis before Barnsley pulled one back on the hour through Cauley Woodrow.
However, the home side settled and wrapped up the tie with further second half goals from Ronan Curtis and Christian Burgess, leaving Barnsley scant consolation as Conor Chaplin converted in injury time for the visitors.
Jackson Irvine’s Hull City also made their exit from the FA Cup after being ousted 2-1 by English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea.
Irvine was an unused substitute in a tie that Chelsea lead from the early stages – Michy Batshuayi’s sixth minute opener followed up by a second-half goal from Fikayo Tomori.
The Tigers fought until the end – and pulled a goal back through Kamil Grosicki – but could not overcome history that has now seen Chelsea win all eleven FA Cup ties between the sides.
In League One, Harry Souttar was rewarded with a clean sheet for his ninety minute shift for Fleetwood Town as they drew 0-0 on the road to Bristol Rovers.
The result marks the second time the teams have played out a bore draw this season after also cancelling each other out just before the new year.
Elsewhere, Bailey Wright was an unused substitute for his new club Sunderland in their 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers.
On the continent, both Aziz Behich and Brandon Borello were unused substitutes as their sides both suffered defeat in their league competitions.
Borello’s SC Freiburg were humbled 2-0 at home by relegation-threatened Paderborn in the Bundesliga, while Behich’s İstanbul Başakşehir also fell 2-0 in their derby clash with Fenerbahçe.
While there was better news for Craig Goodwin in the Saudi Pro League as his Al-Wehda side returned to winning ways with a 5-1 thumping of Al-Hazm on Saturday morning AEDT.
Goodwin assisted his side’s second goal in the win which lifts his team into fourth position in the league standings.
And on the local front…
Andrew Redmayne celebrated a clean sheet in the hot house of AAMI Park as he and Sydney FC teammate Rhyan Grant prevailed 3-0 over Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue on Friday night.
The Sky Blues were largely dominate in the heated rivalry clash, with goals from Adam Le Fondre, Kosta Barbarouses and Alex Baumjohann sealing an eleventh straight win for the league-leaders.
Elsewhere, Jamie Maclaren and his Melbourne City teammates settled for a 0-0 draw with Perth Glory on Saturday night to keep the Melburnians in second-place on the Hyundai A-League table.