Aussies Abroad: Vukovic celebrates title success in Belgium

Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic is a champion once again after his RKC Genk side wrapped up the title on a dramatic morning in Belgium.

In the second-last round of the season, Genk – who held a three-point lead over Club Brugge at the top of the ladder – were held to a 1-1 draw at Anderlecht.

But at the same time, rivals Brugge lost 2-0 at Standard Liege to give Vukovic's side an unassailable four-point buffer at the top to secure the title.


It is the club’s fourth top-flight championship and first since 2011, while for Vukovic it adds to a silverware haul that also includes two Hyundai A-League Premierships (2007/08, 2016/17), one Championship (2016/17) and the 2015 FFA Cup.

The Aussie gloveman played a key role in their success, featuring in 37 of their 39 league matches this season and keeping 14 clean sheets.

At Anderlecht, Genk made the perfect start, going ahead after 11 minutes through midfielder Bryan Heynen.

The hosts hit-back midway through the second half as Everton loanee Yannick Bolasie headed in at the far post but Genk survived a nervy last 20 minutes to take the title.

After news filtered through of Brugge’s loss in Liege, the party could get started.

Genk celebrate their title
Genk players celebrate their title success after the draw at Anderlecht

The celebrations are likely to continue right up until their last game of the season, which is a home clash against Standard Liege on Monday morning (kick-off 2am AEST).

Elsewhere, it was not quite the fairytale ending for Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek, whose Al Hilal had to settle for second spot in the Saudi Pro League.

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Trailing leaders Al Nassr by a point heading into the final match of the season, Degenek’s side did their job by beating Al Shabab 3-2 thanks to Bafetembi Gomis’ 91st-minute goal.

But Al Nassr also won their match, squeezing past Al Batin 2-1 to pip Al Hilal to the title.

Degenek started in the heart of defence, playing 79 minutes before he was substituted as his side chased a late winner.

Degenek
Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek in action for Al Hilal