English in action: 9th December

India: Kerala Blasters 1-0 Pune City (Indian Super League)

Michael Chopra.

Two Englishmen shared seven minutes on the pitch as Kerala Blasters took on Pune City in the final group stage match of the Indian Super League.

Former Stoke City winger Jermaine Pennant started for Pune City but could not prevent his side from going a goal down in the 23rd minute.

He was joined on the field by compatriot forward Michael Chopra, who came on in the 71st minute for Kerala.

Pennant was then replaced seven minutes later as the game finished 1-0 to the Blasters.

The result means David James’ Kerala side make it into the playoffs but Pennant’s Pune are eliminated after finishing outside the top four.


English in action: 4th December

Greece: Panaitolikos 0-1 Panathinaikos (Super League)
For the second day in a row, an Englishman was involved in Greek Super League action. Luke Steele started in goal as his side Panathinaikos travelled to Panaitolikos for match day 11.

Steele has been sharing goalkeeping responsibilities this season so far but yesterday was his third start in a row, as he begins to place a firm hold on the number one jersey.

He did his chances of remaining the club’s number one no harm as he kept a clean sheet in an edgy 1-0 win for the away side, after their goal came just minutes from time. The victory means Panathinaikos move up to third in the table.

India: Kerala Blasters 0-0 NorthEast United (Indian Super League)

James Keene clashes with Michael Chopra

To India now, where an altercation between two English strikers was the main talking point in a goalless draw between Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United.

Former England international goalkeeper David James was a noticeable absentee for the Blasters. He missed out through injury, having hobbled off in their last game early on.

Elsewhere, English forward James Keene started up front for NorthEast, with compatriot Michael Chopra on the bench for his opponents.

The match was relatively uneventful until Chopra’s introduction in the 63rd minute. Twelve minutes after he had joined the action, the former Newcastle United player fouled Keene. Although Chopra was to be booked for his challenge, it was his compatriot’s reaction which would be the key event of the match. Keene reacted angrily, pushing Chopra to the ground, resulting in a straight red card for violent conduct.

It means Keene now holds the unfortunate record of having more red cards than goals in his ten appearances in the Indian Super League so far, one to zero.


English in action: 30th November

Five more expatriates took to the field this Sunday.

Belgium: Union Saint-Gilloise 3-0 Tienen (Third Division)
English defender Amardeep Singh was on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat in the Belgian Third Division yesterday.

He started as his side Tienen travelled to 7th place Union Saint-Gilloise, looking to end a streak of two consecutive losses.

However, after just 14 minutes Tienen were a goal down and despite Singh playing the full ninety minutes, he could no prevent a three goal loss.

Greece: Panathinaikos 2-1 Veria (Super League)

Luke Steele in action earlier in the season.

Luke Steele was back in goal as Panathinkaikos hosted Veria, in a match between two top eight sides.

The hosts took a two-goal lead inside the first fifty minutes of the game and despite Veria pulling a goal back midway through the second half, Steele and his team-mates held on for the three points. The win sees Panathinaikos move up to fourth in the Greek Super League.

India: Kerala Blasters 0-1 Chennaiyin (Indian Super League)
Player/manager David James started between the sticks as his side Kerala Blasters hosted Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League.

However, the former England international lasted just two minutes before being forced off with injury.

James was off the pitch as his side conceded a late 87th goal to lose 1-0. Fellow Englishman, Michael Chopra, was an unused sub.

Poland: Śląsk Wrocław 1-1 Pogoń Szczecin (Ekstraklasa)

Tom Hateley on the ball.

To Poland now, and Śląsk Wrocław were looking to secure a first win in four as they hosted Pogoń Szczecin in the country’s top division.

Starting in midfielder for the hosts was Englishman Tom Hateley, who was making his 14th appearance of the season.

He played the full ninety minutes as the home side struggled to a 1-1 draw, having to come from a goal behind to secure a point.

Spain: Saint Andreu 0-0 Mallorca B (Segunda B)
English midfielder Connor Ruane started for Mallorca’s second team as they travelled to Saint Andreu for a Segunda B match, Spain’s third tier.

The 21-year-old was making just his third start of the season for Mallorca B, having joined the island side from fellow Segunda B side Constància in the summer.

Despite four bookings for each side, including Ruane who also picked up a caution, the teams could only manage a goalless draw. The result leaves Mallorca B just three points off the top of the table, despite being in 7th place.

On the bench
In Italy, both Roma’s Ashley Cole and Fiorentina’s Micah Richards were unused substitutes as their respective sides both cruised to victory.

In Portugal’s Segunda Liga, English midfielder Peter Gregory remained on the bench as his side Beira-Mer fell to a 4-2 home defeat by UD Oliveirense.

English in action: 24-26 November

The past three days have seen four Englishmen involved worldwide, but only one started in their respective match.

24th November
India: NorthEast United 1-2 Delhi Dynamos (Indian Super League)

James Keene in action earlier this season.

The two bottoms clubs in the Indian Super faced each other on Monday. English forward James Keene was introduced to the match after 60 minutes, with his side NorthEast United already 2-0 down.

Keene has been an Englishman abroad since he left his first professional club, Portsmouth, in 2007. The bulk of his time since has been spent at Swedish club Elfsborg but he has also had spells in Norway and Israel.

The 28-year-old seemed to have an impact, as NorthEast pulled a goal back with ten minutes to go. However, that was all they could manage, as they slipped to the bottom of the table.

Keene was also booked in the ill-tempered affair, which also saw two players sent off.

25th November
Russia: CSKA Moscow 1-1 Roma (Champions League)
In Europe’s most prestigious competition, CSKA Moscow secured a late draw with a 93rd minute equaliser to cancel out Roma legend Francesco Totti’s opener.

English defender Ashley Cole was not required as he watched the game from the bench.

26th November
India: FC Goa 3-0 Kerala Blasters (Indian Super League)
Having gone five games unbeaten, in spell which included conceding just one goal, David James’ Kerala Blasters came crashing back down to earth as they were defeated by three second half FC Goa goals.

The match saw 4th place host 3rd palce and Kerala had beaten Goa 1-0 only three weeks ago. This time though, it would be different.

The game remained tight for the opening hour. English forward Michael Chopra joined his compatriot James on the field in the 61st minute. However, this was when Goa stepped their game up. They fired three goals in 16 minutes to leave James no chance in goal.

The result means Kerala slip to fourth place with three games left to play before the playoffs.

English in action: 21st November

It has been a while since the last English in action update. Although there have been a couple of overseas Englishmen in action recently, most have been for Auckland City in the OFC President’s Cup. A separate update on that tournament will be on the blog following its completion.

Meanwhile, seven expatriates were involved in games yesterday.

France: Strasbourg 0-0 Dunkerque (Championnat National)

Seventh played sixth as Strasbourg hosted Dunkerque in France’s third tier. A bumper crowd of 9,461 packed into the Stade de la Meinau saw English defender Edwin Pindi come on as an 81st minute substitute for Dunkerque.

Pindi, now in his fourth season with the French side, made sure his side kept a clean sheet as the game ended goalless. The match was the defender’s sixth appearance of the season.

Germany: Auerbach 0-2 Plauen (Regionalliga Nordost)
From France’s third tier to Germany’s, Auerbach hosted Plauen in the Regionalliga Nordost. Starting for the home side was English defender Olukorede ‘Korede’ Aiyegbusi. The 26-year-old is in his first season in Germany, having previously had spells in America, Finland and Switzerland.

Aiyegbusi has been a regular for Auerbach this season, missing just two games but he was unable to prevent his side losing 2-0 as they conceded a goal in both halves to Plauen, who now move above them in the table.

Fellow Englishman Moses Makinde was an unused sub for Auerbach.

India: Kerala Blasters 2-1 Atlético de Kolkata (Indian Super League)
Kerala Blasters’ player/manager David James was in action again as his side hosted top of the table Atlético de Kolkata. The 44-year-old goalkeeper is currently leading the Golden Glove standings in the Indian Super League, having kept four clean sheets in a row.

Although in this match the former England international conceded, he managed to guide the Blasters to a 2-1 win, to put them just a point off the top of the table.

Former Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra was also involved, coming on as a 75th minute substitute for the Blasters. Both Englishmen were booked in the match.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 4-2 FC Volendam (Eerste Divisie)

English winger Medy Elito was one of only two non-Dutch players to start as VVV Venlo hosted FC Voldendam in the Netherlands’ second tier.

Elito joined VVV in the summer, making the move overseas after six consecutive in England’s Football League.

The Englishman’s side got off to a brilliant start, with forward Randy Wolters scoring a hat-trick in the first 18 minutes to race Venlo into an early 3-0 lead.

In the end, the home side secured a 4-2 victory, with Elito playing 76 minutes before being substituted. VVV are now eighth in the Eerste Divisie.

Poland: Ruch Chorzów 1-0  Śląsk Wrocław (Ekstraklasa)
Second in the league Śląsk Wrocław travelled to second bottom Ruch Chorzów in what looked like would be a routine win for the away side.

Defender Tom Hateley, son of former England international Mark, started the match on the bench for Śląsk as they looked to put pressure on top of the table Legia Warsaw.

However, after a tense 90 minutes, Ruch Chorzów shocked their supposedly superior visitors with a goal in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win. Hateley was an unused substitute.