Aussies taste Champions League success

Aussies Mark Schwarzer, James Holland and Robbie Kruse have all enjoyed victories on the final matchday of the group stage in UEFA’s Champions League.

Aussies Mark Schwarzer, James Holland and Robbie Kruse have all enjoyed victories with their respective clubs on the final matchday of the group stage in UEFA-s Champions League.

Schwarzer and Holland both played full matches as Chelsea accounted for Steaua Bucuresti and Austria Wien enjoyed a stunning victory over FC Zenit this morning.

Meanwhile Robbie Kruse helped Bayern Leverkusen into the knockout stage of Europe-s elite competition, with their narrow win away to Real Sociedad in yesterday-s action.

Schwarzer was named in goals and kept his third cleansheet for the Blues, as they downed their Romanian opposition 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to claim top spot in Group E.

The 41-year-old carved out a little bit of history in the process, becoming the oldest player to make his UEFA Champions League debut.

Chelsea took the points courtesy of an early Demba Ba goal, but had Schwarzer to thank when he was able to deny Gabriel Iancu in a one-on-one situation only minutes later.

Socceroo James Holland was deployed in the heart of midfield as his Austria Wien side registered their maiden UEFA Champions League win in emphatic fashion.

Playing in front of their home fans, the Austrian side went behind to FC Zenit but scored four answered goals to run out convincing 4-1 winners.

It was not enough to lift Austria Wien from the bottom of Group G but their opposition progressed to the knockout stage only one point ahead. Holland-s side left to rue their previous poor form at Ernst-Happel-Stadon.

Robbie Kruse continues to make an impact off the bench for Bayer Leverkusen and was part of the side that downed Spanish side Real Sociedad to progress to the Round of 16 when the result of the other match in Group A went their way.

The 25-year-old Socceroo came on at the start of the second half with the match scoreless but Leverkusen went ahead with what would prove to be the game-s solitary goal just four minutes after the restart.

It was Kruse-s fourth Champions League appearance for his German side, who will now await the results of the draw for the knockout phase which will take place in Switzerland this Monday.

The first-leg of the Round of 16 matches will be played over 18/19 and 25/26 February 2014, with the runners up of each group to host the opening tie against their group winner opponents.