Three Socceroos have all made major contributions as their club sides took a step closer towards Europa League qualification on Friday morning (AEST).
Luke Wilkshire’s Feyenoord managed a 1-1 draw away to Ukranian side Zorya Lugansk in the first leg of their qualifier, with the Socceroos defender providing the assist for their goal.
Despite going behind midway through the first half, the Dutch giants responded just before the break with Wilkshire playing a key role.
The 32-year-old right back surged down the wing before delivering a precise cross which was tapped home by Mitchell te Vrede.
Wilkshire played until the 82nd minute before he was substituted with Feyenoord favourites to progress to the Europa League group stage at home in next week’s second leg.
Mat Ryan’s Club Brugge are also in the box seat, registering a huge 2-1 away win over Swiss side Grasshoppers Zurich.
It was a bad start for the Socceroos shot-stopper, beaten inside eight minutes by Michael Lang.
An own goal by Sanel Jahic followed by Victor Vazquez’s strike a minute later gave Brugge a vital lead, with Ryan repelling everything from then on to hand his side the win.
Defender Trent Sainsbury also got through 90 minutes as his PEC Zwolle side were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Sparta Praha.
Despite missing the last couple of weeks through injury, Sainsbury wasn’t underdone and looks in good nick ahead of his Socceroos call-up for next month’s friendlies against Belguim and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Michael Zullo will today begin his long road back to recovery after having successful surgery on his torn ACL.
The 25-year-old twisted his knee in training last month, rupturing his ACL and ruling him out of action for up to nine months.
He had surgery on his left knee on Thursday night and will immediately begin rehab with the FC Utrecht medical staff as he aims to get back on the field as soon as possible.
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