August 27, 2012
AUCKLAND – Kosta Barbarouses made his competitive debut for Panathiniakos in the Greek Super League as several of his All Whites teammates were on the wrong end of heavy scorelines over the last round of matches.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world the Wellington Phoenix remain unbeaten on their historic tour of the sub-continent.
West Ham came back to earth after their opening weekend heroics falling 0-3 to high flying Swansea City away from home. All Whites defender Winston Reid and the Hammers will now travel to Crewe Alexandra midweek in League Cup second round action.
Reid’s international teammate and All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen was expected by some to see some game time for QPR after being an unused sub in the R’s 0-5 loss at home to Swansea City.
Instead Nelsen was left off the team card altogether which will no doubt be of concern to Ricki Herbert in the lead-in to the crucial FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers early next month. Nelsen may get a midweek run in the League Cup as QPR have a home fixture against League One Walsall.
All Whites striker Chris Wood was also left out of the first team for West Bromwich Albion but again featured in the newly established U-21 Premier League for his club. Unfortunately for the Baggies and the former Waikato FC frontman they were picked apart by a rampant Reading 1-6.
Wood’s OlyWhite teammate Tommy Smith was also on the end of a heavy defeat with Ipswich Town thumped 0-6 by Blackpool. The Tractor Boys will aim to get their campaign back on track on their away trip to Carlisle in the League Cup midweek.
Aberdeen gave Rory Fallon every opportunity to be involved in the midweek Scottish League Cup match with Morton Greenock but was eventually left out of the match day squad in the 2-0 extra time win.
The All Whites striker finally made his comeback for the Dons in the match with Hearts coming on as a second-half sub in the goalless draw.
One-cap All White Greg Draper is something of a cult hero with The New Saints fans after notching 21 goals in 29 appearances for the Welsh Premier League outfit last season. Draper opened his account for TNS this week scoring the final goal in their 3-1 win over Afan Lido.
Kosta Barbarouses made his Greek Super League debut for Panathiniakos on the opening weekend of the season. The Wellington-product is on loan from Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz and played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win against Levadiakos.
Barbarouses missed out on last week’s UEFA Champions League playoff tie loss in Spain against Malaga, but will hope to be involved in the return leg in Greece this week. Panathiniakos will be hopeful to overturn a two goal deficit in order to progress to the group stages.
Nordic football rounds out the European review, with Kris Bright in action twice during the week for FC Haka in the Finnish Veikkausliiga.
Encouragingly, Bright scored his second goal for the club this week although it was in vein as Haka was bashed 2-9 against second-placed TPS in a midweek fixture. Haka then capped off a miserable week with another loss, 0-3 against Lahti to confirm their place in the relegation zone.
Still in Finland, former All White Chris James got on for the last four minutes for Kuopion Palloseura in their loss to JJK.
Earlier in the week, Kirsty Yallop made a scoring return for Vittjsö in the Swedish Damallsvenskan after her time away with the Football Ferns. Unfortunately for Yallop it was very much a consolation goal as her club slumped to a 1-5 loss to second placed Tyresö.
The Ferns midfielder was again in action later in the week as Vittjsö defeated Kristianstad 2-1 to consolidate third place. Yallop’s international teammate Ali Riley also made a return to action for her club LDB Malmö as they triumphed 5-2 to remain top to the league.
The Wellington Phoenix are halfway through their historic India tour and have notched two wins from two starts on the sub-continent.
The 'Nix fielded an experimental line-up in the first match due to suspensions handed down by the FFA for the brawl during the Newcastle Jets pre-season match in Sydney prior to departure.
The Wellington-based franchise ran out 3-0 winners over URO United Sikkim FC in difficult conditions at Imphal. All Whites utility Jeremy Brockie then stole the show in the second tour match scoring four quality goals which propelled the 'Nix to a 5-2 win over Shillong Lajong with close to 20,000 fans inside the stadium.
Ricki Herbert has already blooded a number of young kiwi players on tour as the newly established School of Excellence takes shape.
The Phoenix will move on to Shillong where take on an I-League selection in a friendly match before taking on either URO United Sikkim or Shillong Lajong in the final of the North East Super Series next weekend.
Shane Smeltz returned to the Perth Glory line-up as their fine pre-season form continued with a solid 3-0 victory over the WA State XI earlier in the week. It took Smeltz just nine minutes to make an impact with a tidy volley at the back post.
The All Whites striker was rested over the weekend as the Glory secured another pre-season win as he eases his way back into regular football after Olympic duty.
Melbourne Victory together with All Whites wideman Marco Rojas ended their pre-season tour of Tasmania with a 4-2 win over A-League rivals Adelaide United on Friday. The tour also included a match against the Football Federation Tasmania XI which ended 4-0 in favour of the Victory.
Chris Killen’s Chongqing drew for the second week running, this time a goalless stalemate with bottom of the table Beijing Baxy in Chinese League One action.
In the MLS, the two kiwis on the Portland roster – Jake Gleeson and Ian Hogg – didn’t make the card in the Timbers 2-1 home win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Dan Keat made a return to action last week logging 20 minutes for the LA Galaxy reserves, where fellow kiwi defender Andy Boyens has been a regular for most of the season. Unfortunately for Keat his return also marked the end of a five match unbeaten streak for the Galaxy reserves.