|By SHAM MAJID
Shane Lowry once again stood out from the rest of his Australian counterparts and was the catalyst behind his team's crucial 1-0 victory against Leicester City in the Championship on Saturday.
Fresh from his free-kick exploits two weeks ago against Charlton Athletic, Lowry produced another 20-yard screamer against the Foxes in the third minute but his brilliant effort was equally matched with a spectacular save by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Just seven minutes later, Lowry showcased his dogged defensive credentials when he somehow cleared Michael Keane's point-blank header off the line as Millwall eased their relegation fears with a priceless win.
While Lowry and Millwall enjoyed a productive afternoon, the same cannot be said for Crystal Palace and their captain Mile Jedinak, as the Eagles were hammered 4-0 at their own backyard by Birmingham City.
Jedinak could not get to grips with Birmingham's midfield pairing of Shane Ferguson and Ravel Morrison and was caught out on numerous occasions like the rest of his shell-shocked teammates.
Middlesbrough forward Scott McDonald also had a week to forget after he failed to convert a brilliant chance in front of goal as the Teesiders slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday.
Over in Germany, Robbie Kruse provided the rare spark for Fortuna Dusseldorf during his side's 4-1 capitulation against Bayer Leverkusen.
The Australian attacker, who has consolidated his spot in the first XI, spurned an opportunity in the first half by placing his effort wide of goal.
But he created the assist that led to Dusseldorf’s equalizer in the 41st minute, when his drilling cross into the far post saw Leverkusen's Daniel Schwaab bundle the ball into his own net.
In Asia, Alex Brosque and Sasa Ognenovski were the pick of the bunch as the duo recorded impressive displays for Al Ain and Umm Salal respectively.
Brosque converted a penalty in the 78th minute and caused the Al Shabab defence numerous problems during his team's 2-1 win on Saturday.
His counterpart Ognenovski was a steady influence on the Umm Salal defence as they claimed a well-deserved 3-1 victory over Qatar SC on the same day.
Across the Atlantic, Tim Cahill nearly scored in the 47th minute against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday but his header was repelled by a top-drawer save from Zac MacMath.
The former Everton midfielder, perhaps still yet to fully recover from the exertions of his international duty with the Socceroos, was replaced by Thierry Henry in the 59th minute.
|AUSSIES ABROAD: THE FULL ROUND-UP
Mustafa Amini in action for Borussia Dortmund II in his side's 0-0 draw with Preussen Munster in Germany's 3. Liga.
James Holland (Austria Vienna) – Played from the first to last whistle as Austria Vienna were held to a 1-1 home draw by Salzburg at the Generali Arena on Sunday.
Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzho R&F) – Information on starting line-ups unavailable as Guangzhou R&F were beaten 2-0 at home to Shandong Luneng on Sunday.
Michael Marrone (Shanghai Shenxhin) – Played the full 90 minutes in Shanghai Shenxin's entertaining 2-2 draw with Jiangsu Sainty on Friday.
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai) – Information on starting line-ups unavailable as Changchun Yatai slumped to a 1-0 loss to Qingdao Jonoon.
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng) – Information on starting line-ups unavailable in Shandong Luneng’s 2-0 victory over Guangzho R&F on Sunday.
Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda) – The midfielder played from start to finish but could not inspire his side to victory as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Hangzhou on Saturday.
Jonas Salley (Guizhou Renhe) – The combative midfielder lasted the full 90 minutes and was booked in the 43rd minute as he helped his team earn a 2-1 victory against Wuhan Zall on Friday.
Brent McGrath (Brondby) – Was an unused substitute in Brondby’s 1-0 defeat to Esbjerg on Saturday.
Adam Federici (Reading) – Continues to be dogged by an ankle injury and played no part in his side's 4-1 thrashing by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Brad Jones (Liverpool FC) – Was an unused substitute in Liverpool's 2-1 away victory against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.
Brett Holman (Aston Villa) – Did not feature in Aston Villa's crushing 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) – Still stuck on the treatment table with a recurring foot injury.
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – Fulham will tackle Queens Park Rangers at Craven Cottage on Monday.
Sebastian Usai (Blackburn Rovers) –Was not part of the squad that played out a 1-1 draw with Blackpool at Ewood Park on Friday; a result that extended the Lancashire's outfit winless streak to nine matches.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) – Played the full 90 minutes in Crystal Palace's embarrassing 4-0 home drubbing by Birmingham City at Selhurst Park on Friday.
Patrick Kisnorbo (Ipswich Town) – Did not feature in Ipswich's comprehensive 3-0 victory over former club Leeds United at Portman Road on Saturday.
Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City) – Recalled to the starting XI in place of Liam Kelly and played from start to finish, but the former Leeds midfielder did not justify his selection with an off-colour display as Bristol City were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Derby County at Pride Park on Friday.
Shane Lowry (Millwall) – Produced another barnstorming 90-minute performance as Millwall picked up a crucial 1-0 away victory against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Friday.
Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) – Missed a glorious chance for the Teesiders in the 13th minute when he failed to convert in front of goal as Middlesbrough suffered a morale-sapping 3-2 defeat to Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) – Was not in the squad that lost 3-2 to Wolves on Saturday.
Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) – Played the full 90 minutes as Fortuna Dusseldorf slumped to a disappointing 4-1 home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at the LTU Arena on Saturday.
Nikita Rukavytsya (Mainz 05) – Was neither a starter nor a substitute in Mainz's 1-1 home draw with Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund) – Watched the entire proceedings from the bench as Borussia Dortmund claimed a valuable 2-1 away win against VFB Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena on Saturday.
Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund) – Started the 3. Liga encounter against Preussen Munster before being booked in the 85th minute, only to be subbed off immediately. Borussia Dortmund II played out a goalless draw against their opponents on Saturday.
|GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK|
Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt) – Replaced goal-scorer Michael Gorlitz in the 70th minute as FSV Frankfurt registered an easy 3-0 win over Union Berlin on Sunday.
Apostolis Giannou (PAOK Thessaloniki) – PAOK will travel to face giants Olympiakos in the Super League on Monday.
Giannis Simosis (Kerkyra) – Missed out on Kerkyra's 2-0 defeat to Veria on Sunday.
Adam Sarota (Utrecht FC) – Will play no further part for the rest of the campaign after rupturing knee ligaments.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht FC) – Entered the fray as a substitute, replacing Nana Asare after 55 minutes in Utrecht's 2-1 win against VVV Venlo on Saturday.
Michael Zullo (Utrecht FC) – Made his return from an ankle injury but was an unused substitute in his team's 2-1 victory over VVV Venlo.
Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo) – Did not come off the bench in Heracles' 2-1 home defeat to AZ Alkmaar at the Polman Stadion on Sunday.
James Troisi (Atalanta) – Did not feature in Atalanta's goalless draw with Sampdoria on Saturday.
Carl Valeri (Sassuolo) – Injured and did not feature in Sassuolos 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona on Friday.
Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus) – Injured and played no part in proceedings in his team's 2-0 home victory over Shonan Bellmare on Saturday.
Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons) – Was neither a starter nor substitute in Chunnam Dragons' 2-1 loss to Pohang Steelers on Saturday.
Matt Simon (Chunnam Dragons) – Like compatriot Cornthwaite, Simon did not feature in his team’s encounter against Pohang Steelers.
Luke Devere (Gyeongnam) – Missed his side's 2-2 draw with Seoul at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday through injury.
Nathan Burns (Incheon United) – Did not feature in his team's 2-1 home loss to Daejeon Citizen at the Sungui Arena Park on Sunday.
Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United) – Replaced Jin-Hyung Song in the 84th minute as Jeju United claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win against Busan I'Park on Saturday.
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) – The central defender played the full 90 minutes but could not prevent his side from losing 2-1 Suwon Bluewings on Saturday.
Brendan Hamill (Seongnam) – Was not in the squad that played out a 0-0 draw with Daegu on Saturday.
Eddie Bosnar (Suwon Bluebirds) – Did not feature against compatriot Adrian Madaschi's Jeju United during their clash on Saturday.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Vitoria Setubal) – Remained on t he bench for 90 minutes and watched his team suffer a 4-2 loss to Maritimo in the Primeira Liga on Sunday.
Matt Spiranovic (Al Arabi) – Was part of a defence that conceded two goals in the first half against Lekhwiya on Saturday, resulting in the Australian stopper being hauled off during the break. Al Arabi eventually suffered a heavy 4-1 loss.
Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa) – Al Gharafa will resume their AFC Asian Champions League commitments against Al Nasr on Wednesday.
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) – Marshalled the back-four in a solid fashion for 90 minutes as Umm Salal earned a 3-1 win against Qatar SC on Saturday.
Luke Wilkshere (Dinamo Moscow) – Was an unused substitute in Dinamo Moscow's 1-0 win against Rostov at the Arena Khimki on Saturday.
Dylan McGowan (Hearts) – Started the encounter against Aberdeen but was replaced after 59 minutes by Jamie Hamill on Saturday. The versatile youngster produced a brilliant swerving cross in the first half that nearly saw John Sutton equalize for Hearts, only for Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield to produce a full-stretch save.
Tom Rogic (Celtic) – Was an unused substitute in Celtic's 1-1 draw with St Mirren at St Mirren Park on Sunday.
Kerem Bulut (Akhisar Belediyespor) – Akhisar Belediyespor will visit the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium to face Fenerbahce in their Super Lig encounter on Monday.
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor) – Did not figure in Bursaspor's 2-0 away defeat to Kasimpasa during their Super Lig encounter on Sunday.
Ersan Gulum (Besiktas) – Besiktas will play against Mersin Idmanyurdu in their Super Lig meeting on Tuesday.
Alex Brosque (Al Ain) – Dispatched a penalty in the 78th minute and played from start to finish in his sid'’s 2-1 victory over Al Shabab on Saturday.
Nick Carle (Bani Yas) – Watched proceedings from the bench for 90 minutes as his team slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Al Nasr on Saturday.
Dino Djulbic (Al Wahda) – The defender mustered a steady display for 90 minutes during his side's 1-0 away win against Dibba Al Fujairah on Saturday.
Richard Porta (Dubai) – Lasted 27 minutes, only to be replaced by Mohamed Ibrahim as Dubai crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Ajman on Saturday.
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) – Started the clash against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday but was withdrawn from the match in the 59th minute and replaced by Thierry Henry.
Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders) –The midfielder replaced Brad Evans in the 81st minute and was cautioned just six minutes later for a rough challenge as the Seattle Sounders were gunned down 2-1 by Real Salt Lake on Saturday.