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Kiwis abroad: Rojas back to best

Ricki Herbert will be pleased his charges are firing for their respective sides in Asia and Europe. Brockie, Rojas, Smeltz all got on the A-League scoresheet, while Tommy Smith got one over Chris Wood in the English Championship.

Marco Rojas (photosport.co.nz)

March 4, 2013

AUCKLAND Marco Rojas leapt back into the limelight with another standout performance as his two goals helped Melbourne Victory snap a losing streak in the A-League.

Asia

The A-League's newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers sit on top the ladder after a 1-0 win over Michael McGlinchey's Central Coast Mariners.  Heavy rain marred the clash of the top two sides with McGlinchey once again influential in the performance.  The All Whites midfielder may look to assume penalty taking duties after the Mariners missed their fourth in a row in the match.

A-League: Central Coast Mariners 0-1 Western Sydney Wanderers

A 30-yard goal of the season contender from marquee man Alessandro Del Piero wasn't enough for Sydney FC as they suffered a 2-1 loss in Perth.  All Whites striker Shane Smeltz sealed the points in the 34th minute when he clinically tucked away a left wing cross.

A-League: Perth Glory 2-1 Sydney FC

Jeremy Brockie's close range volley was enough for the beleaguered Wellington Phoenix to record a 1-0 win over Melbourne Heart in Dunedin.  Despite resigning from the franchise Ricki Herbert would be pleased with several of his shadow All Whites; Leo Bertos look rejuvenated as he was restored to a wide role after spending most of the season at right back, Ben Sigmund and All Whites hopeful Andrew Durrante had solid games in defence and incumbent left back Tony Lochhead made some incisive forward forays.

A-League: Wellington Phoenix 1-0 Melbourne Heart

All Whites forward Marco Rojas burst back into form with a brace of goals following the return of his partner in crime New Zealand-born Archie Thompson.  The former Waikato FC winger opened the scoring after seven minutes after Thompson played him in, and seven minutes later his corner was headed home for the second as the Victory blitzed the Newcastle Jets in the opening 15 minutes of the match.  Rojas' second goal was sublime, with the in-form All White beating two defenders inside the penalty box before rounding the 'keeper and rolling the ball into the unguarded net. 

A-League: Melbourne Victory 5-0 Newcastle Jets

Steven Old is likely to cross paths with Chris Killen after agreeing terms with Shijiazhuang Yongchang Junhao subject to medical clearance.  The team, formerly known as Fujian Junhao finished third in China League One last season and will be based at Shijiazhuang Yutong International Sports Center. 

Europe

West Ham ended a run of five consecutive away league defeats with a 1-0 over Stoke City.  Winston Reid helped his side to a clean sheet as The Hammers moved up to 12th in the English Premier League but have a two week break before their next match at Chelsea on March 17.

English Premier League: Stoke City 0-1 West Ham United

Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith earned bragging rights over his All Whites teammate and close friend Chris Wood with a 1-0 win over Leicester City.

English Championship: Ipswich Town 1-0 Leicester City (Ipswich Town official website) 

English Championship: Ipswich Town 1-0 Leicester City (Leicester City official website) 

Kosta Barbarouses made a return to the Panathinaikos team sheet in their 2-0 win over AEK Athens.  The All Whites forward was an unused sub but his appearance back in the match day squad bodes well for Ricki Herbert.

Greek Super League: AEK Athens 0-2 Panathinaikos

Going the other way Cameron Howieson was left off the team card as Doncaster Rovers defeated Hartlepool United.

English League One: Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Hartlepool United

Oly Whites defender James Musa helped Hereford United to third match unbeaten after a goalless draw with struggling Nuneaton Town.  The Bulls are up to seventh in the 24-team league but are still 12 points out of the playoff positions.

English Conference National: Hereford United 0-0 Nuneaton Town

10-man The New Saints advanced to the semi finals of the Welsh Cup with a 1-0 away win over Haverfordwest County.  TNS will face their rivals Bangor City in the semi finals in April as Greg Draper and company look to defend the cup.

Welsh Cup (fifth round): Haverfordwest County 0-1 The New Saints

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