Aussies abroad: Socceroos catch the eye in Germany

Socceroo Robbie Kruse's return to Bayer Leverkusen appears to be paying dividends, while World Cup 2014 player Ben Halloran helped Heidenheim to victory in Germany's second tier.

Leverkusen cut Kruse's loan spell at Stuttgart short in Europe's winter transfer window after the Socceroos winger made just three Bundesliga appearances for the latter club.

Since returning to his main employer, Kruse has been involved in three consecutive matchday squads, sitting on the bench against Borussia Dortmund last week and coming on for the closing stages of Leverkusen's Europa League victory midweek.

The 27-year-old continued to build his match fitness on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT), earning 25 minutes off the bench in a 3-1 loss away to Mainz.

In the 2. Bundesliga, Halloran came on at half-time as Heidenheim held off Arminia Bielefeld to triumph 3-2.

Across the Dutch-German border, Adam Sarota was substituted at the break as Go Ahead Eagles lost 3-1 at leaders Sparta Rotterdam in the Eerste Divisie.

Kenny Dougall wasn't in the squad for Sparta.

In Asia, Mitch Duke came on in the 77th minute of Shimizu S-Pulse's J.League 2 opener against Ehime, which finished scoreless, while Jared Lum played 81 minutes of Kitchee's 2-1 Hong Kong Premier League win over Rangers.