Socceroos striker Mitch Duke netted his ninth goal of the Japanese J2 League season as promoted champions Machida Zelvia won 2-0 at Renofa Yamaguchi on Sunday.
Duke capitalised on almighty error from opposition goalkeeper Kentro Seki, turning his body and volleying home a bouncing ball into an empty net for 2-0 in the 68th minute.
— FC町田ゼルビア (@FcMachidaZelvia) November 5, 2023
Duke’s side have already earned promotion and been crowned J2 champions with one game to play.
Across the Sea of Japan, Alex Grant’s Pohang Steelers secured silverware on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Jeonbuk Motors in the Korean FA Cup Final.
𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗔 𝟭𝗤 𝗙𝗔 𝗖𝗨𝗣 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗠𝗣𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 #포항스틸러스
— theKFA (@theKFA) November 4, 2023
In Holland’s Eredivisie, Mat Ryan couldn’t prevent Excelsior netting a 92nd minute equalizer as second-placed AZ lost further ground on leaders PSV after a 1-1 draw.
Ryan had made an excellent first-half save to deny Tray Parrott’s header before AZ went ahead in the second half. But Ryan couldn’t stop the late leveller, initially saving Nikolas Agrafiotis’ header from a right-wing cross, before Cisse Sandra poked home the rebound.
On Sunday, Garang Kuol was left unused on the bench as FC Volendam drew 3-3 at NEC Nijmegen in a see-sawing Eredivisie clash.
In Germany’s 2.Bundesliga, ex-Australia youth international John Iredale scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot as Wehen Wiesbaden won 3-1 at Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Iredale slotted his 42nd minute penalty at the second attempt, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with a calm shot down the middle. Newly-promoted Wiesbaden are now up to eighth.
— SV Wehen Wiesbaden (@SVWW_official) November 3, 2023
At the top of the table are Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe’s St Pauli who triumphed 2-0 at Elversberg on Friday.
Irvine put in a full shift while Metcalfe started and played 69 minutes.
In Belgium’s Pro League, Jordan Bos was back in Westerlo’s starting XI for the third straight game, having previously not started since August due to appendicitis.
Bos put in a full shift as Westerlo won 2-0 at Leuven on Saturday to move out of bottom spot on the table.
In France’s Ligue 2, Mohamed Toure was an 85th minute substitute as Paris FC edged Saint-Etienne 1-0 to move up to 15th and away from the drop zone.
In France’s Ligue 1, Denis Genreau was absent due to a minor injury on Sunday as Toulouse went down 2-1 at home to Le Havre.
In Italy’s Serie B, Alessandro Circati put in a full shift as leaders Parma won 2-1 over Sudtirol on Sunday.
In Spain’s Segunda Division, Ryan Edwards started and played 64 minutes as Amorebieta lost 1-0 at home to Huesca on Sunday.
In Switzerland’s Super League, Awer Mabil started and played 56 minutes as Grasshoppers lost 2-0 at Luzern on Sunday.
In England’s Championship, Cameron Burgess scored an own goal before Ipswich Town rallied from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Birmingham City to maintain their grip on second spot.
Both Burgess and Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo played full games, but both only earned 4/10 ratings from the East Anglian Daily Times.
Elsewhere, Harry Souttar was unused as Leicester City lost 1-0 at home to Leeds United on Friday, while Sam Silvera was an 85th minute substitute as Middlesbrough drew 3-3 at Plymouth Argyle.
Tom Glover was an unused sub and Riley McGree was absent again due to injury.
In midweek, Silvera netted his third goal for Boro since joining in the off-season as they won 3-2 at Exeter City in the League Cup. Boro have favourably been drawn against League One club Port Vale in the quarter-finals.
In Scotland’s League Cup semi-finals, Martin Boyle and Lewis Miller’s Hibernian went down 1-0 to Aberdeen on Saturday, while the Aussie boys at Hearts face Rangers on Sunday.
Boyle, who started and played 87 minutes, had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside and received an 8/10 rating from Edinburgh Live, who wrote: “The Aussie attacker showed his blistering pace and was a real threat on the counter. Left with his head in his hands after his goal was chopped off. Dusted himself down and got back to making an impact. Stand out on the big occasion once again. Pulled up injured in what will be a concern for Hibs.”
Jimmy Jeggo was absent while Miller started and played 81 minutes, earning a 7/10 rating: “Robbed too easily by the incoming Jamie McGrath to gift Aberdeen an early chance. Settled thereafter. Fired a wicked cross that had to be cleared by Nicky Devlin in the second half. Defensively at fault for the goal when he fell down looking the foul.”
In Scotland’s Premiership, Marco Tilio was absent again as Celtic won 3-0 over Ross County. Last week Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers addressed Tilio’s situation. He said: “It’s just time. He will admit it himself, it’s been a really, really hard transition for him.
“The intensity of the game is totally different to what he is used to, so it’s been a challenge for him in training. It’s always difficult, you are a new player coming into a club and you end up being injured virtually all of pre-season and into September.
“He has started to find his feet in the last three or four weeks. It’s going to take him more time but I am not in any big rush for Marco. He will bring himself to the team as quickly as he can produce in training and over his time here.”
Kenny Dougall (Blackpool), Jack Iredale (Bolton), Nicholas Bilokapic (Huddersfield), Dean Bouzanis (Sutton United), Trent Sainsbury (Al Wakrah)
James Holland – SB 94 (Austria Vienna), Anthony Kalik – SB 72 (Hajduk Split), Stefan Mauk – ST 46 (Fagiano Okayama)
Milos Degenek (Red Star), Patrick Yazbek (Viking), Jason Davidson (KAS Eupen), Ash Maynard-Brewer (Charlton)
Ajdin Hrustic (Hellas Verona), Callum Elder (Derby County)