3 Aussies set to step up to top 5 Euro leagues as Matildas worldie leads to post-game admission

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.

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Fowler scores a worldie as City pull clear in WSL title race

Mary Fowler (ADL) scored a left-footed stunner in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Bristol City in the Women’s Super League on Monday morning (AEST) – and her response to the long-range bomb was not what you’d expect!

The pressure was on for City to get a result against Bristol and take the chance to push their lead at the top of the WSL table to six points, but an hour of play passed by as Fowler and co. struggled to break down the bottom-placed side.

That all changed when Fowler strode toward the edge of the area and rifled a left-footed strike into the top-left corner – her first of two goals in the game set City up for a late charge to a 4-0 triumph as they took command in the WSL title race.

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Fowler spoke to Sky Sports post-game, and the Matildas star joked that her wonder-goal did not reflect the kind of finishing she had put on display in training ahead of City’s clash with Bristol.

“To be honest, I’ve been having some shocking shots in training,” Fowler said.

“So that one I wasn’t really thinking much. I was just hoping it was going to go on target.”

City took the opportunity to pull six points clear in the WSL title race after Arsenal dropped points to Everton on Sunday. Caitlin Foord (CCM, SYD, PER) and Steph Catley (MVC, MCY) started for the Gunners and Kyra Cooney-Cross (WSW, MVC) came off the bench but Clare Wheeler’s (NEW, SYD) Everton produced a 95th-minute equaliser to stun Arsenal.

City are now eight points clear of Arsenal and six ahead of Sam Kerr’s Chelsea – who have two games in hand on the league-leaders.

Huge honour for Carpenter as Lyon reach Champions League Final

For the fourth season running, Ellie Carpenter (WSW, CBR, MCY) has been named in the Division 1 Féminine Team of the Season as Olympique Lyonnais charge towards Champions League Glory and the domestic title.

Carpenter’s Lyon are unbeaten in the league this season (W20, D1), 11 points clear of Paris Saint-Germain who, on the weekend, were beaten by Lyon in the Champions League Semi-Finals. Carpenter played 90 minutes as Lyon won the second leg 2-1, the tie 5-3 on aggregate and booked their place in the Champions League Final.

Carpenter was named in the Division 1 Féminine Team of the Season alongside four Lyon teammates.

Socceroos captain on the brink of Bundesliga promotion after match-winner

Another game, another goal for Jackson Irvine (MVC) who, on Saturday afternoon, fired FC St. Pauli to a 1-0 win over Hansa Rostock – and to a two-point lead at the top of the 2. Bundesliga table.

Connor Metcalfe (MCY) started alongside Irvine as St. Pauli carved out a seven-point lead over third-placed Düsseldorf and with the top-two teams guaranteed automatic promotion to the German top tier, it was a monumental moment for Irvine who looks set to captain St. Pauli into the Bundesliga next season.

Up next for St. Pauli is an away trip to face Hamburg, where they can secure promotion with a win.

Another Australian on the cusp of promotion to a European top tier is Alessandro Circati (PER). The 20-year-old former Perth Glory academy defender played 90 minutes for Parma in a 4-0 win over Lecco in Italy’s Serie B – a result that sent his side five points clear at the top of the table with just three games to play.

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Cummings-inspired comeback sends Indian powerhouse to Super League Final

Mohun Bagan were down, but not out as they faced Roy Krishna (WEL) and Odisha in the second leg of their Indian Super League Semi-Final in Kolkata.

Trailing 2-1 after the first leg, Mohun Bagan – who clinched the ISL Shield after finishing top of the table at the end of the regular season – needed a result at home in the return leg – and it was Jason Cummings (CCM) who inspired them to victory.

Cummings scored the opening goal of the return leg – a game which Dimitri Petratos (BRI, SYD, NEW, WSW) played alongside Cummings from the start and Brendon Hamill (MCY, WSW, WUN) came off the bench.

With the aggregate score at 2-2 heading into second-half stoppage time, Sahal Abdul Samad fired Mohun Bagan into a 2-0 lead on the night, and a slender 3-2 advantage on aggregate. It was a lead they held to the final whistle to progress to the final on May 4, where they’ll face Mumbai City to become Champions.

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Promotion party for ex-Victory star as Palace book WSL spot with title

Crystal Palace confirmed promotion to the FA WSL on Saturday after a 0-0 draw with Sunderland on the final day of the campaign – and an Aussie was at the heart of the special post-game celebrations that followed the Eagles’ Barclays Women’s Championship triumph.

Polly Doran (MVC) was an unused substitute in the goalless draw, which confirmed Palace as the Champions – one point ahead of second-place finishers Charlton Athletic. Palace will replace Bristol City in the 12-team WSL next season, with Bristol sitting bottom of the table, eight points behind West Ham United with just two games to play.

There was also cause for celebration in the WSL for West Ham United and Mackenzie Arnold (PER, CBR, WSW, BRI); the Matildas keeper started for the Hammers in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa which confirmed their safety in England’s top tier for another season.

Elsewhere abroad…

Kevin Muscat (MVC) led Shanghai Port into a Chinese Super League derby with Shanghai Shenhua on the weekend, and a 90th-minute equaliser denied his side all three points in a 1-1 draw with their local rivals.

Muscat’s Shanghai Port were set to close the gap at the top of the table to just two points as they led 1-0 but Shenhua but João Teixeira’s 90th-minute equaliser kept his side’s lead at the top at five points.

Peter Cklamovski (PER, ADL, MVC)’s FC Tokyo recorded a 3-1 win over Albirex Niigata in the J1 League while Harry Kewell (MVC, MCY), who last week led Yokohama F.Marinos to the AFC Champions League Final with a penalty shootout win over Ulsan Hyundai, dropped points in a 2-2 draw to Cerezo Osaka.

Kewell’s Marinos and Cklamovski’s FC Tokyo now sit equal on the J1 League table, with 15 points apiece.

Cam Devlin (SYD, WEL, NEW) and Kye Rowles (BRI, CCM) played from the start in Heart of Midlothian’s 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership while Ryan Strain (ADL) received 84 minutes of game time in St. Mirren’s 2-1 loss to Rangers. Keanu Baccus (WSW) came off the bench for St. Mirren in the defeat at home.

Mat Ryan (CCM) kept a clean sheet as AZ Alkmaar won back-to-back games in the Dutch Eredivisie, beating NEC Nijmegen 3-0 to stay fourth on the table.

Matildas winger Hayley Raso (CBR, BRI, MVC) inspired Real Madrid to a comeback 2-1 win over Levante Las Planas; trailing 1-0, Raso scored in the 85th minute as Claudia Zomoza snatched all three points for Madrid in the 98th minute.

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