|By SHAM MAJID
Robbie Kruse continued to underline his importance to Fortuna Dusseldorf, playing a key part in his side's entertaining 2-2 draw with Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The Dusseldorf midfielder, who has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks, played a delightful through-ball in the second minute to allow Stefan Reisinger to slot past Bremen goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz to draw first blood for the home side.
Former Melbourne Victory midfielder Kruse posed plenty of problems for Bremen's defence throughout the ninety minutes, greatly impressing with his direct running and link-up play in attack.
Over in England, Mark Schwarzer's bid to help Fulham collect full points against Aston Villa on Saturday failed after he was usurped by a wonder-strike by Charles N'Zogbia in an eventful tie that ended in a 1-1 draw.
Schwarzer was twice forced to produce magnificent blocks but could do nothing about the Frenchman's whipped effort, which flew past the veteran Socceroo goalkeeper.
Millwall defender Shane Lowry again produced another of his now-customary last-ditch interceptions when he cleared an effort off the line from Sheffield Wednesday’s David Prutton during his side's league meeting with the Owls on Tuesday.
Lowry then flew the FA Cup flag for Australia when he played the full 90 minutes of Millwall's 2-0 defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
The encounter was, however, marred by disgraceful scenes of fighting between Millwall fans and police, which left several spectators bloodied.
In Russia, Dinamo Moscow full-back Luke Wilkshere finally gained some much-needed playing minutes when he played from start to finish in his side's 0-0 draw with CSKA Moscow.
Over in Asia, defender Eddie Bosnar marshalled the Suwon Bluebirds defence expertly as his side earned a creditable 0-0 draw against Kashiwa Reysol during their AFC Champions League match last Tuesday.
In bizarre scenes, Al Ain forward Alex Brosque's effort hit the top of the bar before Al Rayyan scored immediately from their next attack as the Australian's side were beaten 2-1 in their ACL match.
Former Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell, who last week joined Qatari outfit Al Gharafa on a short-term deal, played the full 90 minutes of a competitive match for the first time in well over a year, but his team were handed a 4-1 walloping by Sailiya on Saturday.
And finally, across the Atlantic, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill saw his 35th-minute header foiled as his side beat DC United 2-0 on Saturday.
|AUSSIES ABROAD: THE FULL ROUND-UP
Eddie Bosnar issues orders to his Suwon Bluebirds team-mates in the 0-0 draw with Kashiwa Reysol in the AFC Champions League.
James Holland (Austria Vienna) – Took his place in the first XI and played for 90 minutes as Austria Vienna were held to a 1-1 draw with Sturm Graz on Sunday.
Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzhou R&F) – Played from start to finish in his side's goalless draw with Shanghai SIPG on Saturday.
Michael Marrone (Shanghai Shenxhin) – Information unavailable on team starting line-ups as Shanghai Shenxhin drew 2-2 with Beijing Guoan on Sunday.
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai) – Lasted the full 90 minutes during Changchun Yatai's 1-1 draw with Wuhan Zall on Saturday.
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng) – Was part of the defence that conceded twice in Shandong Luneng's eventual 2-1 loss to Shanghai Shenhua on Saturday. McGowan registered 90 minutes.
Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda) – Played from start to finish as Tianjin Teda slumped to a 2-1 home defeat to Qingdao Jonoon on Saturday.
Jonas Salley (Guizhou Renhe) – Sat in front of the back four and marshalled the midfield admirably for 90 minutes as Guizhou Renhe claimed their first-ever AFC Champions League victory with a 2-1 against the Central Coast Mariners in their Group H clash on Tuesday. Information unavailable on team starting line-ups as Guizhou then comprehensively beat Jiangsu Sainty 3-0 on Sunday.
Brent McGrath (Brondby) – Was an unused substitute in Brondby’s embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to Sonderjyske on Sunday.
Adam Federici (Reading) – Was forced to sit on the sidelines and missed Reading's 0-0 draw with Liverpool at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury.
Brad Jones (Liverpool FC) – Was an unused substitute in the Reds' frustrating goalless draw with Reading in Saturday's clash at the Madejski Stadium.
Brett Holman (Aston Villa) – Entered the fray in the 69th minute, replacing Jordan Bowery, as Aston Villa played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Fulham at Villa Park on Saturday.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) – Continues his rehabilitation from a foot injury and missed Aston Villa's 1-1 draw with Fulham at Villa Park on Saturday.
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – Twice produced brilliant reflex saves to deny Aston Villa midfielder Charles N'Zogbia but was finally beaten in the 55th minute when the Frenchman curled a delightful left-footed effort into the left-hand corner. Fulham drew 1-1 with Villa.
Sebastian Usai (Blackburn Rovers) – Warmed the bench for 90 minutes as Blackburn Rovers earned an important 2-0 win against Derby County on Saturday.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) – Crystal Palace will travel to face Ipswich Town on Tuesday.
Patrick Kisnorbo (Ipswich Town) – The Tractor Boys will tackle Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City) – Did not come off the bench as bottom-club City suffered a morale-damaging 2-1 home loss to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Shane Lowry (Millwall) – Shone throughout the ninety minutes despite Millwall slumping to a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday during their Championship meeting on Tuesday. Lowry fired an attempt narrowly wide in the first half before scrambling to clear a David Prutton effort off the line just after the break. Lowry also played the full 90 minutes and was booked in the 93rd minute as Millwall crashed out of the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 defeat to Wigan at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) – The former Celtic marksman contrived to miss two real goal-scoring opportunities and saw his side suffer a bitterly disappointing 2-0 defeat to Brighton on Saturday. The striker lasted the full 90 minutes.
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) – Played from the first to last whistle as the Teeside club was gunned down 2-0 at home to Brighton in their Championship meeting on Saturday.
Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) – Played from start to finish and created the assist for Fortuna Dusseldorf's opening goal in his side's eventual 2-2 draw with Werder Bremen at the LTU Arena on Saturday. The former Melbourne Victory forward completed an eventful evening by getting booked in the 32nd minute.
Nikita Rukavytsya (Mainz 05) – Did not feature in Mainz's 2-1 home defeat to Hamburg on Saturday.
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund) – Watched proceedings from the bench as Borussia Dortmund incredibly scored twice in injury-time to claim an absolutely amazing 3-2 win against Malaga in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg meeting at the Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday. Dortmund marched on to the semi-finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory. Langerak again warmed the bench for 90 minutes as Dortmund crushed Greuther Furth 6-1 on Saturday.
Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund II) – Played from start to finish and earned a caution in the 93rd minute as Borussia Dortmund II claimed a hard-fought 1-0 away win against Stuttgarter Kickers on Tuesday. Information on starting line-ups unavailable as Borussia Dortmund II beat Darmstadt 98 1-0 on Saturday.
|GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK|
Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt) – Started the match against MSV Duisburg before being withdrawn in the 81st minute as it ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Apostolis Giannou (PAOK Thessaloniki) – PAOK will face off with Levadiakos in their Super League meeting on Monday.
Giannis Simosis (Kerkyra) – Kerkyra will play against Pas Giannina in their Super League meeting on Monday.
Adam Sarota (Utrecht FC) – Ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht FC) – Started the encounter against AZ Alkmaar before being withdrawn in the 36th minute as the visitors were spanked 6-0 on Sunday.
Michael Zullo (Utrecht FC) – Continued his comeback from a long-term injury by appearing as an 86th minute substitute in his team's 6-0 thrashing by AZ Alkmaar.
Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo) – Missed his side's 2-0 home defeat to Groningen on Saturday.
James Troisi (Atalanta) – Did not come off the bench as Atalanta slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina on Saturday.
Carl Valeri (Sassuolo) – Was sidelined by injury and did not feature in Sassuolo’s 1-1 draw with Brescia on Saturday.
Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus) – Made his long-awaited return from injury by appearing as a 67th minute substitute for Teruki Tanaka in his side’s 1-1 draw with Oita Trinita during their J-League Cup clash last Wednesday. He was again called from the bench in the 71st minute during Nagoya Grampus' 2-1 victory over Albirex Niigata on Saturday.
Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons) – The defender was an unused substitute in his team's 3-1 victory over Daejeon Citizen on Saturday.
Matt Simon (Chunnam Dragons) – Did not feature in Chunnam Dragons's 3-1 win against Daejeon Citizen on Saturday.
Luke Devere (Gyeongnam) – Did not feature in Gyeongnam's 1-1 draw with Pohang Steelers on Saturday.
Nathan Burns (Incheon United) – Was not in the squad that earned a 3-1 win away to Daegu on Saturday.
Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United) – Put in a solid display for 90 minutes as Jeju United thrashed Gangwon 4-0 on Saturday.
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) – Did not feature in his side's 2-2 draw with Urawa Reds in their AFC Champions League Group F fixture on Tuesday. He was again missing from the squad that lost 2-1 to Seongnam on Sunday.
Brendan Hamill (Seongnam) – Like compatriot Alex Wilkinson, Hamill was neither a starter nor a substitute in his team's 2-1 win against Jeonbuk Motors on Sunday.
Eddie Bosnar (Suwon Bluebirds) – Produced a defensively solid 90-minute display as his team earned a respectable 0-0 draw against Kashiwa Reysol in their AFC Champions League tie on Tuesday. Bosnar also played from start to finish in his side’s 1-1 draw with Seoul on Sunday.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Vitoria Setubal) – Warmed the bench as Vitoria Setubal were gunned down 2-1 by Rio Ave during their Primeira Liga clash last Monday. Vitoria will resume their domestic duties against Estoril on April 21.
Matt Spiranovic (Al Arabi) – Did not feature in Al Arabi's incredible 4-4 draw with Al Rayyan on Saturday.
Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa) – Injured and played no part in Al Gharafa's 3-1 win against Al Nasr in their AFC Champions League Group C fixture last Wednesday. The former Palermo midfielder was absent in his side's heavy 4-1 defeat to Al Sailiya on Saturday.
Harry Kewell (Al Gharafa) – Did not feature in Al Gharafa's 3-1 victory over Al Nasr last Wednesday. The former Liverpool midfielder played from start to finish as his team were gunned down 4-1 by Al Sailiya on Saturday.
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) – Lasted the full 90 minutes but was on the losing end as Umm Sala suffered a 4-1 thrashing by Lekhwiya on Saturday.
Luke Wilkshere (Dinamo Moscow) – Was part of the back four that produced a clean sheet during his team's 0-0 draw with CSKA Moscow on Saturday. The former FC Twente defender finally clocked up 90 minutes after a long stint warming the bench.
Dylan McGowan (Hearts) – Hearts will play Kilmarnock on Saturday.
Tom Rogic (Celtic) – Was absent from the squad that beat Dundee United 4-3 in a thrilling Scottish Cup semi-final encounter on Sunday.
Kerem Bulut (Akhisar Belediyespor) – Entered the match as a 78th-minute substitute as Akhisar Belediyespor earned a 1-0 victory over Kasimpasa on Sunday.
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor) – Did not play in Bursaspor's surprising 3-0 home win against Besiktas last Tuesday. Was again missing from the squad that earned a hard-fought 1-0 away win against Mersin Idmanyurdu on Saturday.
Ersan Gulum (Besiktas) –Entered the fray as a 70th minute substitute as Besiktas suffered a 3-0 defeat to Aziz Behich’s Bursaspor last Tuesday. Besiktas will play against Antalyaspor on Tuesday.
Alex Brosque (Al Ain) – Saw his rasping drive clip the top of the crossbar in the second half before Al Rayyan scored the winner immediately at the other end of the pitch as Al Ain endured a 2-1 defeat in their AFC Champions League Group D match last Tuesday. Brosque then played 85 minutes in Sunday's fixture against Al Ittihad Kalba before being withdrawn.
Nick Carle (Bani Yas) – Bani Yas face Al Ahli in their Pro-League encounter on Tuesday.
Dino Djulbic (Al Wahda) – Al Wahda will play against Al Nasr in their Pro-League tie on Monday.
Richard Porta (Dubai) – Dubai will meet Al Dhafra in their Pro-League match on Monday.
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) – Missed three decent opportunities in the 35th, 49th and 50th minute before being replaced in injury time as the New York Red Bulls claimed a 2-0 win against DC United on Saturday.
Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders) – Was an unused substitute as the Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 with Mexican outfit Santos Laguna during their CONCACAF Champions League semi-final second-leg clash last Tuesday. Seattle were eliminated from the tournament after losing 3-2 on aggregate. Rose then came off the bench in the 75th minute as his team were held to a goalless draw at home by New England Revolution on Saturday.