English in action: 28th November

Friday night football action saw Englishmen feature in five different countries across two continents.

Austria: St. Polten 2-2 Kapfenberger (1. Liga)
English forward Gary Noel has been in and out of St. Polten’s first team this season. However, having scored five goals in four starts for the club’s second team, he had earned a place on the bench as St. Polten took on Kapfenberger in Austria’s second tier.

Noel watched an action packed first 80 minutes from the bench as the visitors twice cancelled out St. Polten goals. The English forward was then introduced for the final ten minutes of the match but could not score a winner for his side as the game ended 2-2.

Belgium: Zulte-Waregem 2-1 Gent (Pro League)
To Belgium’s top tier now where 14th place Zulte-Wargem hosted a Gent side which could go top with a victory.

English midfielder Chuks Aneke was one of seven foreigners to start for Waregem as they looked to upset their higher-ranked visitors.

After just 17 minutes though, it looked like the favourites were going to win as Gent took the lead.

However, the hosts hit back, and after dominating the second half, they scored two goals to turn the game around a secure a surprise 2-1 win.

Aneke played the full ninety minutes, having missed just one match all season.

Colombia: Unión Magdalena 1-1 Deportivo Pereira (Primera B)
To Colombia for the first time on this blog now, as English midfielder George Saunders was on the bench for Unión Magdalena as they hosted Deportivo Pereira.

25-year-old Saunders is now in his second year in Colombia, having already played for América de Cali and Fortaleza as well as current side Unión Magdalena in the South American country. Earlier in the year, he made seven appearances for Fortaleza in the country’s top tier, but a mid-season switch now sees him play for Unión in the second tier.

Yesterday’s match was part of the ‘Torneo Finalización’ semi-finals. An unusual league format is used in Colombia’s second tier, which means Unión, who finished fifth in the ‘Torneo Finalización’, are playing in the semi-finals, in which the top eight teams were split into the two groups of four, with the winner of each going into the final.

Saunders entered the match after 73 minutes with his side one-nil down. His appearance seemed to make an instant impact though, as just two minutes after coming on, his side equalised through a penalty to secure a 1-1 draw.

Germany: Alemannia Aachen 2-1 Sportfreunde Sigen (Regionalliga)

Thackray in action earlier in the season

English centre-back Kris Thackray started for table-toppers Alemannia Aachen as they hosted Sportfreunde Sigen in Germany’s fourth tier.

The match turned out to be a brilliant game for the defender, who has had spells in Italy and Malta. In the 41st minute, he gave his side the lead with his first league goal since April 2013.

The visitors later equalised but Alemannia scored an 85th minute winner, to keep them at the top of the league.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 1-0 Telstar (Eerste Divisie)
English winger Medy Elito was in the starting line-up for VVV Venlo as they looked to make it back-to-back wins with a game against Telstar.

VVV would have been expecting a win against a side several places below them in the table but the visitors frustrated their hosts for large periods of the game.

The breakthrough eventually came though, as an 80th minute goal from Moroccan substitute Abdelaziz Khalouta gave VVV the three points.

Elito played the full ninety minutes.