|By SHAM MAJID
Millwall defender Shane Lowry and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer produced top displays to help their sides garner important victories over a busy weekend for Australians abroad.
Lowry personified Millwall's battling qualities in their midweek FA Cup quarter-final second leg 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers, as the defender superbly blocked two goal-bound efforts to send his team into the last four of the world's oldest cup competition.
He then demonstrated his attacking instincts in Millwall's Championship clash with Charlton Athletic on Saturday when he scored with a long-range free-kick to ensure his side secured a 2-0 win over the Addicks.
Socceroos shot stopper Schwarzer was also an instrumental figure as the unfancied Cottagers stunned high-flying Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on Sunday to claim their first win at White Hart Lane for 10 years.
Schwarzer had to be alert to deny Welsh wizard Gareth Bale just after the break but his fantastic reflex save to deny forward Jermain Defoe in the final minute was the pick of the bunch, in what proved to be a productive outing for Martin Jol’s charges.
His international colleague Brad Jones, however, had a day to forget as he conceded three goals in Liverpool's disastrous 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Saturday.
Jones, who was once again the man between the sticks as first choice goalie Pepe Reina continued his recovery from a thigh injury, suffered a torrid afternoon at St Mary's as the Saints ran riot against a surprisingly porous Reds backline.
In fact, it is fair to surmise that Jones kept the score at a respectable level as he produced at least three good saves to prevent Liverpool from suffering more embarrassment.
Across the border, midfielder Dylan McGowan played the full 90 minutes in the Scottish League Cup final but eventually finished on the losing side as Hearts conceded an early lead to allow St Mirren to win 3-2.
Over in Germany, Robbie Kruse continued to underline his importance to Fortuna Dusseldorf as he produced a drilling cross for Mathis Bolly to convert in his side's eventual 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg.
The former Melbourne Victory attacker nearly handed three points to his side in the 81st minute but his right footed strike from the centre of the box was foiled, though Dusseldorf snapped their unwanted run of five consecutive losses away from home.
Across the Atlantic, Seattle Sounders midfielder Andy Rose was part of the side that progressed to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals as the MSL side earned a 3-2 aggregate victory. The result meant Seattle qualified for the last four for the first time in franchise history.
Former Everton playmaker Tim Cahill endured a frustrating afternoon on Saturday against DC United as he picked up a caution in the first half before contriving to miss several opportunities, most notably a header in the 90th minute which could have altered proceedings.
|AUSSIES ABROAD: THE FULL ROUND-UP
Mark Schwarzer [right] shakes hands with Gareth Bale after the Socceroos No.1 played a key part in Fulham's win over Tottenham.
James Holland (Austria Vienna) – The dynamic midfielder was at his marauding best as he played the full 90 minutes to help his team romp to a 4-0 away thrashing of Mattersburg on Sunday.
Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzho R&F) – Information not available as Guangzhou R&F were gunned down 3-1 by Hangzhou at the Yellow Dragon Sports Center on Sunday.
Michael Marrone (Shanghai Shenxhin) – Information not available as Shanghai Shenxin slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to derby rivals Shanghai Shenhua at the Jinshan Soccer Stadium on Sunday.
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai) – Information not available as Changchun Yatai suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of Shandong Luneng on Saturday.
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng) – Information not available as Shandong toppled Changchun Yatai 2-0.
Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda) – Information not available as Tianjin Teda shared the spoils with Liaoning Whowin in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Jonas Salley (Guizhou Renhe) – Produced a composed display for 90 minutes in the heart of midfield against Korean giants Suwon Bluewings in their AFC Champions League Group H encounter on Wednesday. Information not available as Guizhou Renhe were held to a 1-1 draw by Shanghai SIPG on Saturday.
Brent McGrath (Brondby) – Information not available as Brondby secured a 1-1 draw with Esbjerg in the DBU Pokalen at the Brondby Stadion last Wednesday. He then warmed the bench for 90 minutes in Brondby's 1-1 draw with Midtjylland in their Superliga clash on Sunday.
Adam Federici (Reading) – The Reading goalkeeper continues to be dogged by an ankle problem and could not take his place between the posts in Reading's scrappy 1-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Brad Jones (Liverpool FC) – Found his rearguard breached as the Reds slumped to a bitterly disappointing 3-1 defeat to Southampton at St Mary's stadium on Saturday.
Brett Holman (Aston Villa) – Was an unused substitute as Midland outfit Aston Villa eased their relegation fears with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park on Saturday.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) – Missed the QPR match as he continues his rehabilitation from a troublesome foot injury which has not completely healed.
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – Conjured up a brilliant reflex save in the last minute to foil Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, as the Cottagers earned a brilliant 1-0 win at Spurs.
Sebastian Usai (Blackburn Rovers) – Was not part of the squad that lost 1-0 to Millwall in the FA Cup quarter-final second leg clash on Wednesday. Was again missing from the squad that battled to a 1-1 draw against rivals Burnley in the East Lancashire derby at Ewood Park on Sunday.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) – Like the rest of his teammates, the Eagles captain was disappointingly off-colour for 90 minutes as Crystal Palace suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at fierce rivals Brighton on Sunday.
Patrick Kisnorbo (Ipswich Town) – The centre-back sat on the bench for 90 minutes as the Tractor Boys snapped Bolton Wanderers' five-match winning streak with a valuable 1-0 victory at Portman Road on Saturday.
Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City) – Replaced Liam Kelly in the 85th minute as the Robins capitulated in the last 15 minutes to hand Wolves a precious 2-1 triumph at Molineux on Saturday.
Shane Lowry (Millwall) – Put his body on the line on more than one occasion throughout the 90 minutes in Millwall's 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final second leg win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Wednesday. He then capped off a sterling week when his magnificent 35m free-kick goal in the 64th minute ensured Millwall scored a 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic at The Valley on Saturday.
Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) – Continued his profligacy in front of goal with several missed chances in Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Birmingham City at the Riverside. McDonald did find the back of the net in the first half, but the former Celtic front man was denied by an offside flag.
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) – While compatriot Scott McDonald played from start to finish, central defender Rhys Williams remained on the bench in his side's morale sapping 2-0 loss to Birmingham City at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) – Delivered a peach of a cross for Mathis Bolly to slot home with a right-footed effort in the 37th minute in Fortuna Dusseldorf's valuable 1-1 away draw at Wolfsburg. Kruse mustered a decent shift on the right flank before being withdrawn for Genki Omae in the 88th minute.
Nikita Rukavytsya (Mainz 05) – Did not feature in Mainz's goalless draw with TSG Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund) – Watched proceedings from the bench for 90 minutes as Borussia Dortmund walloped hapless Freiburg 5-1 at home on Saturday.
Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund) – Borussia Dortmund II's clash with Kickers Offenbach last Tuesday was postponed. Their scheduled Saturday away meeting with Babelsberg was also rearranged.
|GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK|
Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt) – Cut a frustrated figure in midfield and was removed from the firing line in the 83rd minute as FSV Frankfurt slumped to a thoroughly disappointing 3-0 defeat to SC Paderborn 07 on Friday.
Apostolis Giannou (PAOK Thessaloniki) – Did not feature in PAOK's 2-0 Super League victory over Panathinaikos at the Stadio Toumbas on Sunday.
Giannis Simosis (Kerkyra) – Came on in place of Dimitrios Stamou in the 87th minute in Kerkyra's 1-0 home loss to giants Olympiakos Piraeus on Sunday.
Adam Sarota (Utrecht FC) – Ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing knee ligaments.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht FC) – Received a caution in the 24th minute before being withdrawn after half an hour in Utrecht's 2-1 defeat to Feyenoord at De Kuip Stadion on Sunday.
Michael Zullo (Utrecht FC) – Continues his recovery from an ankle injury.
Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo) – Was neither a starter nor a substitute in his side's 2-0 away win at VVV Venlo on Saturday.
James Troisi (Atalanta) – Watched proceedings from the bench for 90 minutes as Atalanta suffered a demoralising 3-2 defeat to Champions League-chasing Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday.
Carl Valeri (Sassuolo) – Was not in the squad in Sassuolo's 1-0 win against Cittadella at the Stadio Alberto Braglia on Saturday.
Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus) – Did not feature in Nagoya Grampus' 1-0 away victory against Ventforet Kofu at the Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium on Saturday.
Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons) – Information not available as Ulsan claimed a 1-0 away win against Chunnam Dragons at the Gwangyang Stadium on Sunday.
Matt Simon (Chunnam Dragons) – Information not available.
Luke Devere (Gyeongnam) – Still injured and missed Gyeongnam's 1-1 draw with Jeonbuk Motors on Saturday.
Nathan Burns (Incheon United) – Missed Incheon United's 3-1 away victory against Seongnam at the Seongnam Tancheon Sports Complex on Saturday.
Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United) – Remained an unused substitute in Jeju United's 1-1 draw with Daejeon Citizen at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium on Saturday.
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) –Entered the fray in the 40th minute to replace Jung In-Hwan in his side's 1-1 draw with Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande in Group F of the AFC Champions League. The strapping defender then produced a solid display for 90 minutes in his team's 1-1 draw with Gyeongnam on Saturday.
Brendan Hamill (Seongnam) – Like countryman Nathan Burns, the defender did not feature in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Incheon United.
Eddie Bosnar (Suwon Bluebirds) – Did not feature in either the first-team or on the substitutes bench in Suwon's goalless draw with Guizhou Renhe in their Group H AFC Asian Champions League fixture on Wednesday. Information not available as league leaders Pohang Steelers collected a 2-0 win over Suwon in their K-League Classic encounter on Sunday.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Vitoria Setubal) – Warmed the bench in his side's 2-3 home defeat to Vitoria Guimaraes last Monday. Was again an unused substitute in Setubal's 2-1 defeat to giants Sporting Lisbon on Saturday.
Matt Spiranovic (Al Arabi) - Al Arabi will play Al Gharafa in the Stars Cup on Tuesday.
Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa) – The midfielder played from start to finish and helped his side earn a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Iranian outfit Sepahan in their Group C AFC Asian Champions League meeting on Wednesday. Al Gharafa will tackle Matt Spiranovic's Al Arabi in Tuesday's Stars Cup encounter.
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) – Umm Salal will enjoy a three and a half week hiatus and play their next league fixture against Qatar Sports Club on March 29.
Luke Wilkshere (Dinamo Moscow) – Neither a starter nor a substitute in Dinamo Moscow's 1-1 draw with Kuban Krasnodar on Saturday.
Dylan McGowan (Hearts) – Played from start to finish as Hearts let an early lead slip to allow St Mirren to register a 3-2 victory at Hampden Park on Sunday to claim the Scottish League Cup for the first time in their history .
Tom Rogic (Celtic) – Warmed the bench for the entire 90 minutes as Celtic scored a last-gasp winner to claim all three points in an enthralling 4-3 win against Aberdeen at Celtic Park on Saturday.
Kerem Bulut (Akhisar Belediyespor) – Was an unused substitute in his team's 2-1 Super Lig win against Sivasspor at the Akhisar Belediye Stadyumu on Sunday.
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor) – Did not feature in his side's thrilling 3-2 Super Lig win against Trabzonspor on Friday.
Ersan Gulum (Besiktas) – Part of the Besiktas back four that struggled to come to grips with the Kasımpasa attack in their surprise 3-1 home loss on Saturday. Gulum clocked 90 minutes under his belt.
Alex Brosque (Al Ain) –Led the Al Ain attack for 90 minutes but could not find a breakthrough against a well-drilled Esteghlal back-four in his side's 2-0 defeat in their AFC Asian Champions League Group D meeting on Wednesday. Did not feature in Al Ain's 3-1 win against Al Shaab during their Emirates Cup meeting on Sunday.
Nick Carle (Bani Yas) – Information not available as Bani Yas earned a 2-1 away win against Busaiteen in the GCC Champions League at the Al-Muharraq Stadium last Wednesday. Started the encounter against Al Ittihad Kalba but was replaced in injury time by Ahmed Naser Ahmed as Bani Yas slumped to a 2-1 loss in their Emirates Cup fixture on Sunday.
Dino Djulbic (Al Wahda) – Al Wahda will undertake a three and half week sojourn before resuming their Pro-League commitments against Dibba Al Fujairah on March 30.
Richard Porta (Dubai) – Converted a penalty in the 73rd minute before being withdrawn for Yousuf Ali Shah in the 83rd minute as Dubai claimed a comprehensive win against Al Nasr in their Emirates Cup match on Sunday.
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) – The former Everton talisman played the full 90 minutes in his side's last-gasp 2-1 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes at the Buck Shaw stadium last Monday. Had an eventful 90 minutes against DC United at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday, picking up a yellow card on 25 minutes before missing numerous chances in his side's goalless draw.
Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders) – Replaced Bradley Evans in the 27th minute and helped his side earn a well-deserved 3-1 win against Mexican side Tigres UANL in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final encounter last Wednesday. Seattle overturned a 1-0 deficit in the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate. The midfielder then played the full 90 minutes in his team's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers at the CenturyLink Field on Sunday.