Canadian Exports: Hoilett helps keep Blackburn from drop
Blackburn Rovers started Sunday just one point above the relegation zone, the threat of dropping to the English Championship very real.
Away at Wolves for the season finale, Blackburn put together a complete attacking performance to gain the full three points and leap ahead of the pack at the bottom of the EPL table, ensuring participation in the top flight next season.
Canadian attacker David “Junior” Hoilett was instrumental in securing the victory for Rovers, setting up Blackburn’s first goal then deftly weaving through traffic to score the third goal just before the half.
The performance caps a breakout season for Hoilett, who looks to have a bright future in the Premier League.
Over in the Turkish Süper Lig, Josh Simpson started for Manisaspor and subbed out after 55 minutes, with his side settling for a scoreless draw with İstanbul BB. Manisaspor end the season in 10th place, with Simpson’s 12 goals putting him in a three-way tie for seventh on the final league scoring charts.
Goalkeeper Milan Borjan missed FK Rad’s 4-2 loss to Jagodina in the Serbian SuperLiga due to card accumulation. Rad are fourth with two matches remaining, and with an eight point lead on the fifth-placed side they have locked up a spot in Europa League qualifying.
Fellow Canadian netminder Lars Hirschfeld also missed his league match for Vålerenga, although for a much different reason. The players in Norway’s Tippeligaen are striking over the right to wear their own boots rather than those of the league sponsor, which forced the postponement of all matches over the weekend.
In nearby Denmark, Issey Nakajima-Farran suited up for AC Horsens and played just over an hour of a rare Thursday league match vs. OB. The game ended 3-3.
A short drive away, Patrice Bernier had to watch from the sidelines as his club FC Nordsjælland won the Danish Cup on Sunday. Nordsjælland defeated FC Midtjylland 3-2 in the final, with Bernier forced to miss the game due to a leg break suffered the previous week.
Elsewhere in northern Europe, IFK Mariehamn duo Mason Trafford and Luca Bellisomo both played the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 away loss to KuPS on Thursday. Both Canucks also featured in Mariehamn’s 2-0 victory over HJK on Sunday, with Trafford playing 90 minutes and Bellisomo getting in for the final 10 minutes of play.