Socceroo ‘keeper Mat Ryan’s Club Brugge have won the Belgian Cup with a thrilling 2-1 win over Anderlecht on Monday morning (AEDT).
In a stunning end, Brugge looked like they would be forced to go to extra-time after Aleksandar Mitrović equalized in the final minute to level scores at 1-1.
But Brugge had other ideas, regrouping almost immediately as Israeli international Lior Refaelov scored in the third minute of stoppage time to secure a memorable win for Ryan’s side.
It was nothing less than the Socceroo No.1 and his side deserved having led for most of the match after Tom De Sutter’s superb volley from Refaelov’s free-kick inside 12 minutes.
The triumph was Brugge’s 11th Cup win in the club’s history and the first time in eight years they have won a major trophy.
Ryan didn’t have a lot to do throughout the match but came up with a crucial save from Aleksandar Mitrović’s header just after the hour mark which proved decisive.
It was a stunning reaction save from the Socceroo No.1, tipping the ball over the bar to keep Mitrovic’s goal-bound effort out and maintain Brugge’s well-deserved lead.
The match had earlier been delayed by 30 minutes after Anderlecht officials arrived at the ground late due to traffic.
Brugge were denied what looked like a clear penalty and also had two goals controversially disallowed in quick succession in the second half.
First they were denied when Refaelov was harshly adjudged to have fouled Anderlecht ‘keeper Silvio Proto from a corner before Jose Izquierdo had the ball in the net soon after only to be wrongly called offside.
Ryan came up big again 10 minutes from the end with another important save but there was nothing he could do to stop Mitrovic’s low drive in the final minute.
Luckily for Ryan and his Brugge team-mates they were spared extra-time with their memorable late winner.
It caps a big few days for the Socceroos gloveman, who also played a key part in Brugge’s progression to the Europa League quarter-finals with a win over Besiktas in Turkey.Ryan won’t have much time to celebrate the success as he will leave to link up with the Socceroos for this week’s friendlies against Germany and Macedonia.
New dawn, new goal-scoring style says Arnold
Australia coach Graham Arnold has declared his Caltex Socceroos side will look to develop a new style in order to score more goals ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. It’s something of a new dawn for international football in Australia, with the FIFA World Cup™ in the rear-view m
Caltex Socceroos to face Korea Republic in Brisbane in November
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council today announced that the Caltex Socceroos will host Korea Republic in an international friendly match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November 2018. FFA CEO David Gallop was
How to get your tickets to see the Caltex Socceroos' play Korea Republic
Don’t miss your first chance to see Graham Arnold’s new look Caltex Socceroos live in action in Australia. Australia head to Brisbane for the first time since 2015 to take on Asian football powerhouse Korea Republic. ANNOUNCEMENT: A new era rises in Graham Arnold's first ma
A long standing rivalry: Caltex Socceroos’ history against Korea Republic
The Caltex Socceroos are set to fine-tune their preparations for their AFC Asian Cup title defence next year with a high-profile friendly against the Korea Republic in Brisbane. These two nations have forged quite a rivalry over the years – who could forget their last meeting