Aussies Abroad Wrap: McGree scores first Boro goal, Boyle & Maclaren strike in the ACL, Genreau goes up

Top flight football is now assured for Denis Genreau, who will join an illustrious list of Socceroos to have plied their trade in Europe's top 5 leagues.

There were also a number of Aussies amongst the goals over the weekend with Jamie Maclaren and Martin Boyle scoring late in their Champions League ties.

Meanwhile, Riley McGree opened his Middlesbrough account in style away at Swansea City.

Read all about it in our latest Aussies Abroad wrap! 

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France

Denis Genreau and Toulouse FC have played out one of the more convincing promotion campaigns across the world this season, having now officially secured their place in France's top tier next season with three games to play. 

Coming into their match at home to Niort, the men in purple knew that just a point would be sufficient for promotion and three points crucial to help secure the league title. Genreau started the match as a substitute, eventually brought on midway through the second half as Toulouse closed out yet another convincing display. A diving header from Ado Onaiwu sealed the 2-0 victory later, sending the home fans into bedlam - with the host broadcaster struggling to keep the cameras still to film the celebrations, such was the vibration caused by the Toulouse supporters.

Genreau also had the ball in the back of the net following his introduction, only to be denied by the offside flag.

 

A pitch invasion ensued once the final whistle had blown, with the city from the South of France represented within Ligue 1 once again, with a young Aussie amongst its engine room in the midfield. The task is still not over, with a victory in Toulouse's next match seeing them claim the title.

England & Scotland

Midfielder Riley McGree is back on the scoresheet in the Championship, scoring his first for new club Middlesbrough in a 1-1 draw away at Welsh side Swansea City.

A loose pass from the Swansea defenders was latched upon by the Australian, who with the help of a deflection looped the ball over the goalkeeper from over 20 yards out, tapping the crossbar before finally bouncing into the net.

 

The goal and result keep Middlesbrough firmly in the hunt for a play-off promotion position in the Championship, with just two matches still to play.

Celtic are within touching distance of the Scottish Premiership title after starting the final phase of their league campaign in perfect style, dispatching Ross County 2-0, away from home. Aussie midfielder Tom Rogic came off the substitutes bench for Ange Postecoglou's men in the 64th minute, with the Hoops looking to extend their 1-0 lead. Rogic was involved in the lead-up to Jota's late sealer, with the 88th-minute tap-in sending the away bay into raptures.

Along with the victory, Tom Rogic has also been nominated for The SPFL Goal of the Season for his early-season strike against Dundee United. The poll is fan voted and closes by the end of this week, with the 'Wizard from Oz' needing all fans in green and gold to throw their support behind the Socceroos star.

 

The celebrations from a famous Scottish Cup semi-final victory have carried over for Hearts and Nathaniel Atkinson, with the defender tasting victory in his first clash in Scotland's final round, defeating Dundee United 3-2 away from home. Out of the title challenge due to Celtic's victory overnight, the Socceroo can still make history for his new club in the next few weeks as they round out a 3rd place finish and potential Scottish Cup crown.

Germany

European qualification next season is slowly drifting out of reach for Eintracht Frankfurt and Ajdin Hrustic, with the Bundesliga outfit dropping points at home in a 2-2 draw, after a late equaliser was scored by opponents Hoffenheim. The Socceroo started the match as a substitute before being introduced with 15 minutes to play, yet could do nothing to stop the diving header of Georginio Rutter in the 78th minute, who levelled the scores at kept Hoffenheim's dream of a top four finish alive.

Although the route to the UEFA Champions League through the German league has become more difficult for Hrustic and his team, they can still reach the continent's premier competition with victory in their Europa League semi-final against London-based side West Ham United, starting with the first leg away from home during the week (Friday 5am AEST).

 

In Germany's second division, Jackson Irvine and his club FC St Pauli have been dealt a considerable blow to their promotion campaign with a 2-1 loss at home to direct rivals Darmstadt, who now leapfrog the midfielder's side into third - the last remaining play-off position.

St Pauli will now need to make up an extra three points to gain promotion automatically and just a single point to return to Germany's play-off promotion position.

Asia & The Middle East

Several of our Socceroos forwards have contributed with goals over recent weeks in both the Eastern and Western sides of the AFC Asian Champions League, with both Boyle's Al-Faisaly and Maclaren's Melbourne City now closing in on a knockout berth.

Saudi side Al-Faisaly looked to be dead and buried in their group stage tie with Jordanian outfit Al-Wehdat after a 91st-minute goal, with the scoreline a major shock to Al-Faisaly, who had seemed destined to top Group E. Yet Socceroo Martin Boyle became the hero once again, scoring a 93rd-minute equaliser for his side, following an in-air game of pinball within the Al-Wehdat penalty box, which landed kindly for Boyle, who didn't need a second invitation to half-volley the ball past the exposed goalkeeper.

It was a similar story for Jamie Maclaren and Australian side Melbourne City, yet unfortunately in this instance, the roles were reversed. A cagey affair for the A-League Men's defending champions, coming up against Thai outfit Jeonnam Dragons, the clash seems destined to end scoreless, before an 89th minute sweeping counter from the Cityzens was cut back to striker Jamie Maclaren, who clinically shifted the ball toward the far corner.

 

The match would end in heartbreak however, with Jeonnam snatching a point in the 92nd minute, thanks to a long-range volley from Georgian strike Nikoloz Kacharava.

Mitch Duke was amongst the goals for a third consecutive match, this time turning provider for Fagiano Okayama teammate Yudai Tanaka, who scored the opener in a 1-1 draw away at Roasso Kumamoto. Glancing from his usual position in centre-forward to the left-wing, Duke swung a low cross toward the six-yard box, with his strike partner slicing the ball past the Mumamoto keeper. The result sees Okayama keep in touch with J2's play-off positions, with 11 games having already been played.

Continental Europe

An injury-time equaliser to away side SPAL has seen a potential top three finish dashed for Fran Karacic and Brescia, in a match where the home side dominated throughout and looked certain to push their way back into Italy's automatic promotion places. The Socceroo defender was brought on late with his 10 minutes of action coinciding with both a deadlock breaker in the 84th minute, and a last-gasp header in the 94th minute, which levelled the ledger.

In Turkey, Awer Mabil and Kasimpasa's incredible run of performances continue, with a 3-0 victory away at Istanbul giants Besiktas adding a sixth victory to the side's last seven matches. The Australian winger started from the bench before being introduced at the 80th minute, helping Kasimpasa to a third goal just two minutes later, to complete the rout.

Aziz Behich was unable to extend his good run of form, falling 2-1 to Faith Karagümrük after taking the lead just after half-time. Behich was involved in all 90 minutes and looked likely to add to his clean sheet tally, before a double punch in the 52nd and 60th minute saw his opponents take all three points.

Norway-based Gianni Stensness has grabbed his third victory in Scandinavia after just a month of action, with his team Viking Fotballklubb defeating Bødo/Glimt 2-0 and overtaking their title rivalsup into second. Stensness played all 90 minutes in the victory and may have sent a message or two to his compatriot Tom Rogic after the match, having claimed revenge on the side that knocked Rogic's Celtic out of the Europe Conference League earlier in the season.

The United States

Milos Degenek put in a stellar defensive display for MLS side Columbus Crew, finishing with another clean sheet for the season while reversing a recent form slump during the 0-0 draw away at Sporting Kansas City.