Aussies abroad: Socceroo stars shine in Spain, UK

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan returned to Valencia's starting line-up on Sunday, pulling off a stunning triple-save as his team drew 2-2 with Rayo Vallecano.

Ryan had not started in La Liga since November, sitting on the bench for six straight matches as Juame Domenech took the gloves for former coach Nuno and his replacement Gary Neville.

But after shining in the Copa del Rey earlier this month as Valencia defeated Granada 7-0 on aggregate, Ryan was back in goals in the Spanish top tier for his team's home clash with Vallecano.

The match started badly for Ryan, with Josabed Sanchez volleying Vallecano in front in the 15th minute.

But the Australian was involved in Valencia's equaliser in the 55th minute, making three saves in succession before the hosts scored on the counter-attack.

Ryan made a diving stop to deny a long-range effort, smothered the follow-up shot and then gathered himself for a third save before Valencia's clearance found Alvaro Negredo, who produced a stunning strike from halfway to score.

Vallecano were in front again after 68 minutes - Ryan had little chance to save Diego Llorente's half-volley from a corner - but Neville's men would eventually claim a point thanks to Paco Alcacer's 88th-minute goal.

In other Aussies Abroad action on Sunday, in Turkey, Aziz Behich completed a full shift in Bursaspor's 4-2 triumph against Trabzonspor and fellow Socceroos left-back Brad Smith sat on the bench in Liverpool's 1-0 loss to Manchester United in the Premier League.


On Saturday, Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo earned the praise of manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink following Queens Park Rangers' emphatic 3-0 win over Rotherham in the Championship.

Hasselbaink, appointed in December to replace interim boss Neil Warnock, hailed Luongo's willingness to the "dirty stuff" in an impressive 90-minute performance at New York Stadium.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a rare starting appearance for QPR – his first under Hasselbaink – and flourished in central midfield, setting up Matt Phillips for his side's second goal.

"He [Luongo] is somebody who likes to get on the ball, who can influence strikers and who can pick a pass," Hasselbaink told

"On the other hand, he needed to do the dirty stuff – and he did. That was pleasing to see."

Elsewhere, Bailey Wright played a full match as Preston North End secured a 1-1 draw away to Ipswich Town.

Tommy Oar was an unused substitute for Ipswich and Neil Kilkenny sat on the bench for Preston.

On-loan Rhys Williams continued his comeback from injury with the defender getting through 59 minutes in Charlton Athletic's 6-0 loss away to Hull City.

In League One, James Meredith played 90 minutes and set up the winner as Bradford City edged Oldham Athletic 1-0 at home.

The full-back whipped in a cross to the back post, which was met by midfielder Tony McMahon who buried it into the far corner just five minutes into the second half.

Elsewhere, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff played a full match in Burton Albion's 2-0 win away to Coventry City, while Chris Herd was substituted at half-time in Chesterfield's 3-1 loss to Wigan Athletic.

Goalkeeper Alex Cisak completed 90 minutes as Leyton Orient lost 3-1 to Exeter City in League Two.

Adam Federici (AFC Bournemouth), Mark Schwarzer (Leicester City), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town) and Shane Lowry (Birmingham City) sat on the bench for their respective English clubs.

North of the border, Jackson Irvine came on at half-time as Ross County lost 3-2 at home to Aberdeen, while Scott McDonald had a tough day at the office as Motherwell were thumped 6-0 by Hearts.

On Friday, Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic cruised past Dundee United 4-1 with Tom Rogic playing 59 minutes for the victors.