Why Aussie cult hero ignored coach’s orders amid ‘crazy’ viral celebrations: A-Leagues Alumni

Welcome to A-Leagues Alumni: A weekly piece that keeps you up to date with the best stories from our products flying the flag abroad. The acronyms of the A-Leagues club(s) each player has represented are in brackets after their name.

Yengi leads Portsmouth’s promotion party

What a week it was for Kusini Yengi (ADL, WSW), who scored two goals, helped end a 13-year wait for promotion and was the face of Portsmouth’s big party.

The A-Leagues graduate was front and centre as Portsmouth clinched the League One title and promotion to the EFL Championship for the first time since 2011-12 after scoring in the 3-2 win over Barnsley at Fratton Park.

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There were wild scenes after the match on Wednesday (AEST) as Pompey fans stormed the pitch to celebrate with Yengi and his teammates.

Yengi, who also partied with Portsmouth supporters in the streets in viral scenes, revealed head coach John Mousinho had advised him to head straight down the tunnel at the conclusion of the match.

“It sounds great to hear that we are now seen as legends by supporters. It’s what I set out to do when I came to this club and it’s come true now,” said the Socceroos forward via The News.

“It’s everything I expected. John said to run inside when the final whistle goes – but I wanted to be out there with the fans and teammates. It was a brilliant moment.

“It was crazy out there! People were grabbing everything and I was up on people’s shoulders and then down on the floor. It was amazing and I really enjoyed it.

“We’ve put in so much effort from day one and pre-season to get to this point. It’s been a long year with some wet and rainy nights. Now we’ve got the job done, it feels surreal.”

Yengi also scored on the weekend – a late goal in the 2-1 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

Despite the loss, Portsmouth had their trophy and medal presentation. Yengi was joined by fellow Aussie Alex Robertson after his loan spell from Manchester City was cut short by injury.

Yengi has scored nine goals in 25 League One appearances, though only seven of those have been starts.

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The 25-year-old has scored 13 goals across all competitions since arriving from Western Sydney Wanderers.

“Of course,” Yengi when asked if he would remain at Portsmouth next season. “I love this club and it’s been an amazing season.

“Everyone’s welcomed me in so well, and I think I can still learn a lot and improve as a player.

“Playing in the Championship next season is something I’m really looking forward to.

“Championship player sounds good – but Premier League would be even better. We’ll go for it next year!”

Yengi added: “When I came over and spoke to the gaffer then saw the squad and the first couple of training sessions, I knew we could achieve this.

“Everyone in the squad is close. It’s an amazing group.  Every day in training we put in the hard work and then off the field get on so well.

“There’s friendships for life and at the end of our careers I think we will look back and remember this moment, this squad and everyone that was involved.

“I hope we stay in contact if people go their own ways in the next couple of years – but we’ll always remember this special group.”

Matildas star sparks stunning comeback

Ellie Carpenter (WSW, CBR, MCY) and Lyon emerged from the jaws of defeat to claim an incredible 3-2 win over French rivals Paris Saint-Germain in the opening leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final.

Lyon – the record eight-time champions – trailed 2-0 heading into the 80th minute before they turned the match on its head in front of a record crowd for the club of 38,466.

Matildas star Carpenter sparked the wild comeback that yielded three goals in just six minutes – setting up the first goal for Kadidiatou Diani with 10 minutes of regulation remaining.

Melchie Dumornay and Amel Majri were also on target to give Lyon the upper hand in their pursuit of a record-extending ninth Champions League crown, while Matildas defender Clare Hunt (WSW) was absent for PSG.

“In football, we like to experience these kinds of emotions, we are still enjoying it,” said Lyon head coach Sonia Bompastor. “I live the match to the fullest.

“At half-time, I still believed it was possible. By scoring a goal, I knew we could achieve something. Experience helps, the more matches you experience, the more capable you are of not giving up.

“Endler’s save keeps us in the game. The public also supported us to get the victory. I really liked the entries into the game this evening. Amel’s finish gives a lot of positive things. She knew how to be positive for the group and she allowed us to achieve this result.

“The group never gives up. The players who don’t play are the most important.”

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The return leg is in Paris on Monday, April 29 (AEST).

In the Women’s Super League (WSL), Mary Fowler (ADL) and Alanna Kennedy both started for Manchester City in their 5-0 demolition of Mackenzie Arnold‘s (SYD, NEW, WSW, PER, MCY) West Ham.

City are three points clear of Chelsea atop the standings, though the defending champions have a game in hand.

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Caitlin Foord (CCM, SYD, PER) provided an assist in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Leicester City. Steph Catley (MVC, MCY) also started for the third-placed Gunners amid Kyra Cooney-Cross‘ (WSW, MVC) continued injury absence.

Teagan Micah (BRI, WSW, MVC, MCY) kept a clean sheet for Liverpool in their 1-0 victory away to Bristol City.

Clare Wheeler (NEW, SYD) and Everton took down Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1.

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Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick has addressed Tom Glover’s (CCM, MCY) injury absence.

Glover was not in the squad for the 1-1 draw away to Championship high-flyers Ipswich Town, while he also missed Tuesday’s 4-3 defeat to Leeds United – a game in which Sammy Silvera (NEW, CCM) started.

After the stalemate with Ipswich, Manchester United legend Carrick was asked about the Socceroos goalkeeper, who has made 12 league appearances in his first season at Boro.

“He had a finger problem. We’re not sure yet how bad it is. He’s got it strapped up at the moment and we’re just getting further assessments on that,” Carrick told reporters.

It came after a FTBL report claimed the former Melbourne City star is wanted by Scottish champions Celtic, Rangers, Danish outfit FC Copenhagen and Premier League outfit Newcastle United.

In Scotland, Kye Rowles (BRI, CCM), Nathaniel Atkinson (MCY) and Cammy Devlin (SYD, WEL, NEW) all started for Hearts in their 2-0 loss to Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Over in the German 2.Bundesliga, Connor Metcalfe (MCY) provided his fifth assist of the season as St Pauli edged Hannover 2-1 to snap a two-game losing streak and retain second position in their push for promotion.

Meanwhile, Jason Davidson (PER, MVC) is set to miss the rest of the season due to injury in a blow to KAS Eupen’s relegation survival hopes.

Davidson’s season in Belgium ‘s top flight has been cut short as he undergoes surgery on his nose.

The Australian – who is out of contract at the end of the campaign – had been a key player for Eupen having made 30 appearances, scoring once.

Elsewhere abroad…

Amy Sayer (CBR, SYD) scored her first goal of the season as Kristianstad lost 3-1 to Rosengard in Sweden’s top tier. Clare Polkinghorne (BRI) also started.

In Spain’s Liga F, Hayley Raso (CBR, BRI, MVC) tallied an assist for Real Madrid in their 4-2 victory over Levante.

Nick D’Agostino (PER, BRI, MVC) scored the equaliser for Viking FK in their 1-1 draw with Fredrikstad in Norway’s Elitserien. Patrick Yazbek (SYD) played 70 minutes before he was replaced by Gianni Stesness (CCM, WEL). It was D’Agostino’s first goal in four league matches this term.

Liberato Cacace (WEL) came off the bench as Empoli upstaged Serie A giants Napoli 1-0.

In Serie B, Alessandro Circati (PER) helped league-leading Parma keep a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw with Palermo.

Jordy Bos (MCY) returned to the bench following injury as Westerlo drew 3-3 with Standard Liege in the Belgian Pro League.

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Emily van Egmond (NEW, CBR, WSW, MCY) started and Kaitlyn Torpey (BRI, MCY) came off the bench for San Diego Wave in their 1-0 loss to Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

Mitch Duke (CCM, WSW) was a second-half substitute for Machia Zelvia, who upstaged Peter Cklamovski‘s (PER, ADL, MVC) FC Tokyo 2-1 to stay top of Japan’s J1 League.

Mitch Langerak (MVC) returned from illness to help Nagoya Grampus stun high-flying Cerezo Osaka 2-1. Nagoya are now seven matches unbeaten in all competitions and up to fifth in the in the standings – just three points off top spot.

Awer Mabil (ADL) made his first start since December following injury as Grasshopper lost 1-0 to Servette in the Swiss Super League.