Viduka Makes Comeback In Middlesbrough Win
Qantas Socceroo Mark Viduka made his comeback from a hip injury overnight, as Middlesbrough secured a valuable 1-0 win over Greek side Egaleo in the UEFA Cup Group Stage.
Qantas Socceroo Mark Viduka made his comeback from a hip injury overnight, as Middlesbrough secured a valuable 1-0 win over Greek side Egaleo in the UEFA Cup Group Stage. Viduka (pictured right), who missed the two-match series against the Solomon Islands because of the injury, was largely unseen throughout his 70 minutes on the pitch, although in fairness to him, he has hardly trained in the lead up to the match and was well short of match fitness. The winning goal came from substitute Stewart Downing with 12 minutes remaining in the game. While Downing proved to be the super-sub on the night, Middlesbrough can largely thank its Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer for the win. Schwarzer made several important stops to deny the Greeks including a diving stop in the 10th minute to push away a goal bound free kick from George Fotakis. The win puts Middlesbrough at the top of their group, which sees the top three teams progress after they play all four teams in their group once. Boro-s next match is against Italian giants Lazio on November 4. The night overall proved a rather dismal one for the other Australians in the Cup, with only Socceroos Scott Chipperfield and Mile Sterjovski getting a result; FC Basel grabbing a point on their travels to Germany-s Schalke 04. Chipperfield started the game and was replaced by Sterjovski in the 64th minute. Other results saw Travis Dodd-s Panionios (Greece) team go down to a late penalty at home against Newcastle United; Patrick Kisnorbo was replaced late in the game as Hearts lost 3-0 away to Dutch side Feyenoord, while Michael Turnbull was on the bench as Standard Liege lost 2-0 away at Steaua Bucharest (Romania). Somewhat surprisingly Qantas Socceroo stars Marco Bresciano and Vince Grella were not part of the Parma squad that continued its poor form with a 2-0 away loss to Athletico Bilbao, while Craig Moore (hernia) would have been impressed with Rangers 5-0 thrashing of Polish side Amica Wronki. In the next round, Hearts is at home to Schalke 04, Panionios is away to Sporting Lisbon, Parma is at home against Steaua Bucherest, while Standard Liege, Rangers and FC Basel all have byes.