|By SHAM MAJID
Australian fan favourite Harry Kewell ended his exile from football after agreeing a short-term deal to join Qatari outfit Al Gharafa until the end of the season, and made his debut on Saturday.
The former Leeds United, Liverpool and Galatasaray attacker has not played professionally since the end of last season's A-League campaign, when he cut short a three-year Melbourne Victory deal to return back to England for family reasons.
The 66-time capped Socceroo finally made his long-awaited return to the football pitch after debuting for his new club as an 81st-minute substitute, but he could not prevent his side from losing 1-0 to Al Sadd on Saturday.
Long-serving Australia No.1 Mark Schwarzer continued to press his claims for a new Fulham contract when he saved a Loic Remy penalty and denied Bobby Zamora in the closing stages of his team's 3-2 win against relegation-troubled QPR last Monday.
He was once again at his imperious best on Sunday against Newcastle United, but was finally beaten by Senegalese forward Papiss Cisse in the 93rd minute.
In Germany, Robbie Kruse clocked 90 minutes on the pitch for Fortuna Dusseldorf as his side were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Hoffenheim on Friday. The winger provided the main attacking outlet for Dusseldorf down the right flank, but he could not steer his side to victory.
Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak enjoyed a rare start as the defending Bundesliga champions were finally dethroned by runaway title winners Bayern Munich, despite their 4-2 win against Augsburg on Saturday.
Langerak was first beaten by Daniel Baier in the 43rd minute before Kevin Vogt again breached the goalkeeper's rearguard within 80 seconds.
In Asia, Alex Brosque continued to shine in the AFC Champions League for Al Ain as he netted the winner against Al Rayyan in their Group D fixture last Wednesday.
Brosque produced a thunderous strike past Oumar Barry with 20 minutes remaining to ensure Al Ain remained firmly in the hunt to progress past the group stages.
|AUSSIES ABROAD: THE FULL ROUND-UP
Robbie Kruse passed a fitness test but he could do little to stop Fortuna Dusseldorf falling to a 3-0 loss to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
James Holland (Austria Vienna) – Started the encounter against Wolfsberger but was hauled off in the 67th minute as the runaway Bundesliga leaders suffered a humiliating 4-0 home drubbing on Sunday.
Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzhou R&F) – Played the full 90 minutes in Guangzhou’s 1-1 draw with Qingdao Jonoon on Saturday.
Michael Marrone (Shanghai Shenxhin) – Slotted in at central defence and marshalled the back four for 90 minutes as Shanghai Shenxhin played out a 1-1 draw with Liaoning Whowin on Saturday.
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai) –Registered 90 minutes on the pitch but could not prevent Changchun Yatai from slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Shanghai SIPG on Sunday.
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng) – Played from start to finish against compatriot Erik Paartalu's Tianjin Teda side, with Shandong Luneng claiming a 2-1 win against their opponents on Saturday.
Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda) – Grabbed the equalizer for his side in the 86th minute against McGowan's Shandong Luneng, but Tianjin Teda were undone by a late goal in the 89th minute as they slumped to a 2-1 loss on Saturday. Paartalu last the entire 90 minutes.
Jonas Salley (Guizhou Renhe) – The Australian midfielder played the full 90 minutes during his side's 2-1 defeat to the Central Coast Mariners in their AFC Champions League Group H meeting at Bluetongue Stadium on Wednesday. The Chinese side will lock horns with the Mariners again on Tuesday.
Brent McGrath (Brondby) – Did not come off the bench in his team's 1-0 away win against Randers during their Superliga clash on Sunday.
Adam Federici (Reading) – Finally took his place between the sticks after a long layoff with a knee injury but could not prevent his side from defeat, as Reading were gunned down 2-0 by Southampton at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. The result virtually condemning the Royals to relegation.
Brad Jones (Liverpool FC) – Sat on the bench as Liverpool played out a frustrating 0-0 draw with West Ham United at Anfield on Sunday.
Brett Holman (Aston Villa) – Was an unused substitute as Aston Villa earned an important 3-1 away win against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, enhancing their prospects of beating the drop.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) – Continues his rehabilitation from a foot injury and missed out on his team's crucial 3-1 victory over Stoke City on Saturday.
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – The goalkeeping veteran pulled off a brilliant penalty save to deny QPR forward Loic Remy in the 49th minute and also foiled Bobby Zamora late into the match as Fulham earned a 3-2 win against Queens Park Rangers at Craven Cottage last Monday. Schwarzer also started the fixture against Newcastle United at St James' Park on Sunday, as the Magpies won 1-0.
Sebastian Usai (Blackburn Rovers) – Was not part of the squad that fell to a meek 3-0 defeat to Championship leaders Cardiff City last Monday. The goalkeeper then warmed the bench for 90 minutes during his team's crushing 3-2 loss to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) – Played from start to finish in Crystal Palace's disappointing 1-0 loss against ten-men Blackpool last Monday - a result that stretched the Eagles winless run to four matches. The combative midfielder also played the full 90 minutes during his side's 0-0 draw with Barnsley, with Jedinak earning himself a caution in the 26th minute.
Patrick Kisnorbo (Ipswich Town) – The central defender warmed the bench for 90 minutes during his team's goalless draw with Millwall last Monday. The former Leeds United stopper was again benched during his team’s 1-0 win against Derby County on Saturday.
Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City) – Replaced Liam Kelly on 68 minutes as Bristol City equalised in injury-time to earn a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday last Monday. The former Birmingham City midfielder again entered the fray for Liam Kelly in the 78th minute, but Bristol suffered a 3-1 defeat to Burnley on Saturday and remain rooted to the bottom of the Championship standings.
Shane Lowry (Millwall) – The in-form defender's set-piece ability nearly came to the fore once again, but his curling free-kick late in the second half hit the post during Millwall's 0-0 draw with Ipswich Town last Monday. He also played from start to finish in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Birmingham City.
Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) – Fluffed an opportunity from 18 yards in the first half before being withdrawn in the 68th minute as Middlesbrough laboured to a dull 0-0 draw against Peterborough United last Tuesday. Came off the bench in the 67th minute during Saturday's clash against Hull City and his cheeky flick was superbly foiled by goalkeeper David Stockdale. The Teeside club eventually lost 1-0 to Hull.
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) – Back in the starting XI and nearly opened the Boro's account in the first half against Peterborough, but his effort went wide. The defender completed the full 90 minutes during last Tuesday's clash. Williams then clocked up another 90 minutes on Saturday, as his side endured a 1-0 defeat to Hull City.
Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) – Passed a late fitness test to eventually play from start to finish in Fortuna Dusseldorf's heavy 3-0 loss to Hoffenheim on Friday.
Nikita Rukavytsya (Mainz 05) – Did not feature in Mainz's 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund) – The goalkeeper was an unused substitute during Borussia Dortmund's 0-0 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg draw against Malaga at La Rosaleda last Wednesday. He started in Saturday's encounter against Augsburg but conceded two goals as Borussia Dortmund rallied back to win 4-2 at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.
Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund) – Borussia Dortmund II's scheduled clash against Babelsberg on Wednesday was postponed. Started the encounter against Chemnitzer on Saturday before being substituted in the 71st minute as Dortmund II crashed to a 1-0 defeat.
|GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK|
Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt) – Came off the bench in the 65th minute as FSV Frankfurt thrashed Jahn Regensburg 4-1 on Saturday.
Apostolis Giannou (PAOK Thessaloniki) – Did not feature in PAOK's goalless draw with giants Olympiakos last Monday. Was again missing from the squad in Saturday's 2-0 victory against Veria.
Giannis Simosis (Kerkyra) – Was an unused substitute in Kerkyra's 2-1 home defeat to Levadiakos during their Super League encounter on Saturday.
Adam Sarota (Utrecht FC) – Will play no further part for the rest of the campaign after rupturing knee ligaments.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht FC) – Started the match against ADO Den Haag on Sunday before making way for Edouard Duplan in the 66th minute as Utrecht earned a 1-0 victory against their opponents.
Michael Zullo (Utrecht FC) – The defender watched proceedings from the bench for 90 minutes during Utrecht's 1-0 win over ADO Den Haag on Sunday.
Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo) – Did not feature in his team's 4-0 walloping by giants Ajax Amsterdam on Sunday.
James Troisi (Atalanta) – Remained on the bench as Atalanta stunned heavyweights Inter Milan to claim a magnificent 4-3 win at the San Siro in their Serie A meeting on Sunday.
Carl Valeri (Sassuolo) – Injured and was missing from the squad as Sassuolo endured a 3-2 defeat to Novara during their Serie B clash on Saturday.
Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus) – Missed out on his side's 0-0 draw with Tokyo on Wednesday due to injury. Was again sidelined during Saturday's entertaining 3-3 draw with Kashiwa Reysol on Saturday.
Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons) – Led the defence effectively for 90 minutes as Chunnam Dragons earned a 1-1 away draw against Gangwon in their K-League Classic encounter on Sunday.
Matt Simon (Chunnam Dragons) – Did not feature alongside his countryman Robert Cornthwaite in his side's 1-1 result with Gangwon on Sunday.
Luke Devere (Gyeongnam) – Was not in the squad that played out a 1-1 draw with Daejeon Citizen in their K League Classic meeting on Sunday.
Nathan Burns (Incheon United) – Did not feature in Incheon United's 1-1 with Pohang Steelers on Saturday.
Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United) – Did not come off the bench during Jeju United's 2-1 defeat to Jeonbuk Motors on Saturday.
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) – The defender was replaced at the interval by former Middlesbrough forward Lee Dong Gook as his team claimed a well-deserved 3-1 win against Japanese side Urawa Reds in their AFC Champions League Group F tie last Wednesday. Like compatriot Adrian Madaschi, Wilkinson remained on the bench as his team claimed a 2-1 victory over Jeju United on Saturday.
Brendan Hamill (Seongnam) – Missed out on Seongnam's 2-0 defeat to Busan I'Park in Sunday's K-League Classic match.
Eddie Bosnar (Suwon Bluebirds) – Was not part of the squad that succumbed to an incredible 6-2 home drubbing by J-League side Kashiwa Reysol in their AFC Champions League Group H clash last Wednesday. Bosnar returned to the first-team during Saturday's clash with Daegu and played the full 90 minutes in their 3-1 win.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Vitoria Setubal) – Vitoria Setubal will face off with Rio Ave on Monday.
Matt Spiranovic (Al Arabi) – Al Arabi will resume their domestic commitments against Al Rayyan next Saturday.
Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa) – The midfielder, currently sidelined with an injury, did not play in Al Gharafa's gritty 4-2 victory against Al Nasr in the AFC Champions League or Saturday's 1-0 league loss to Al Sadd. He will be ruled out for the next six to eight weeks.
Harry Kewell (Al Gharafa) – Made his long-awaited return to football in a ten-minute cameo appearance in the 81st minute, as his new employers suffered a 1-0 loss to Al Sadd on Saturday.
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) – Umm Salal will play against Lekhwiya next Sunday.
Luke Wilkshere (Dinamo Moscow) – Remained stuck on the bench for 90 minutes as Dinamo Moscow earned a 1-1 draw against Amkar Perm’ on Friday.
Dylan McGowan (Hearts) – Did not enter the fray and warmed the bench as Hearts played out an entertaining 4-2 win against Ross County on Saturday.
Tom Rogic (Celtic) – Replaced Kris Commons in the 78th minute as Celtic earned a comprehensive 3-0 win against Hibernian at Celtic Park on Saturday.
Kerem Bulut (Akhisar Belediyespor) – Came on as an 82nd minute substitute as Akhisar Belediyespor slumped to a 2-0 defeat to high-flying Fenerbahce last Monday. Bulut started the match against Trabzonspor but was cautioned in the 40th minute being making way in the 76th minute as his side earned a slender 1-0 win.
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor) – Bursaspor face off against giants Besiktas on Tuesday.
Ersan Gulum (Besiktas) – Produced a steady display at the heart of the defence for 90 minutes as Besiktas eked out a hard-fought 2-1 away win against Mersin Idmanyurdu last Tuesday. Besiktas will meet Bursaspor on Tuesday.
Alex Brosque (Al Ain) – Netted the all-important winner against Al Rayyan as Al Ain earned a hard-fought 2-1 win during their AFC Champions League Group D clash on Wednesday. The Socceroos forward came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute in Saturday's goalless draw with Al Ahli.
Nick Carle (Bani Yas) – Information on starting line-ups unavailable as Bani Yas played out a 1-1 draw with Al Faisaly in their GCC Champions League encounter on Wednesday. The former Crystal Palace midfielder came off the bench in the 77th minute during his side's 1-0 victory over Al Shabab in their Pro-League meeting on Saturday, but has been linked with a return back to mother club Sydney FC.
Dino Djulbic (Al Wahda) – The defender put in a solid shift for 90 minutes in Al Wahda's 1-1 draw with Al Wasl on Saturday.
Richard Porta (Dubai) – Earned a caution in the 72nd minute before being withdrawn in the 77th minute during Dubai's 1-0 victory against Dibba Al Fujairah on Friday.
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) – Played the full 90 minutes as the New York Red Bulls suffered a frustrating 3-1 loss to Chicago in their Major League Soccer assignment on Sunday.
Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders) – Entered the fray as a 72nd minute substitute, as the Seattle Sounders crashed to a 1-0 home defeat to Mexican outfit Santos in their CONCACAF Champions League semi-final first-leg clash at CenturyLink Field last Wednesday. They will play Santos again in the second-leg on Wednesday.