It’s rare for two Canadian players to face off in England’s Premier League, but it happened over the weekend when forwards Simeon Jackson and David “Junior” Hoilett lined up at opposite sides of the pitch in a 3-3 draw between Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers.
Blackburn starlet Hoilett, who started the match and played 81 minutes, opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time with a blistering 20-yard strike that left the Norwich ‘keeper with no chance.
Hoilett’s marker spurred an offensive outburst by the struggling Rovers’ side, and Blackburn led 3-1 as late as the 81st minute. The two-goal deficit prompted the Norwich manager to call on Jackson, last season’s promotion darling, to provide a spark off the bench.
Jackson entered play with 15 minutes left, and although he did not find the back of the net himself, he was involved in the build-up to Norwich’s second goal and helped his side pile on the pressure for their third – a converted stoppage-time penalty kick.
Norwich are currently in eighth place in the Premiership, while Blackburn are just one point from the bottom.
In the English Championship, David Edgar was once again in the back line for Burnley in a 3-1 win over visitors Blackpool. Edgar has grabbed hold of a starting spot in recent weeks after struggling to find minutes early in the season.
Down in League One, Iain Hume’s Preston North End met Jaime Peters’ AFC Bournemouth on Saturday. It was Bournemouth who prevailed 3-1, with Peters going 90 minutes. Hume missed the match due to an injury suffered in Preston’s previous game.
Across the northern border in Scotland, Marcus Haber was a late attacking hope for St. Johnstone, who ultimately fell 1-0 sat home to St. Mirren. Haber subbed on in the 85th minute.
Over in Germany’s top tier, both Kevin McKenna and Marcel de Jong sat out with injuries as their clubs – FC Köln and FC Augsburg, respectively – squared off in Bundesliga action. The match was a lopsided affair that Köln won easily, 3-0, to keep Augsburg in the relegation zone.
Meanwhile in the 2.Bundesliga, Olivier Occean scored his seventh league goal of the season (eighth in all competitions) for SpVgg Greuther Fürth, albeit in a losing effort as his club fell 3-1 to visiting Eintracht Braunschweig on Monday. The loss drops Fürth from first to third on the hotly contested league table.
Elsewhere in the German second tier, defender Adam Straith was a very late entrant for FC Energie Cottbus in their 1-1 draw with Hansa Rostock. Straith subbed in during stoppage time as Energie Cottbus looked to hold on to a 1-0 lead, but they gave up a goal just a minute later to drop two points.
Rob Friend, meanwhile, watched from the bench as Eintracht Frankfurt played to a 1-1 stalemate with FC Ingolstadt.
Down south in Turkey, goalkeeper Milan Borjan reclaimed his starting job for Sivasspor, manning the goal in a pair of Süper Lig games over the past week. Last Thursday, Borjan earned a clean sheet as Sivasspor blanked Mersin Idmanyurdu 1-0, and on Sunday he was again in goal for a 3-1 loss to Beşiktaş.
Also in the Süper Lig, Manisaspor had both their Canadians in the lineup for their two fixtures to bookend the weekend, as attacker Josh Simpson returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension.
On Thursday, Simpson went 56 minutes and defender Mike Klukowski logged 90 minutes as Manisaspor defeated Klukowski’s old club, Ankaragücü, 2-0. Both Simpson and Klukowski went the distance on Sunday in Manisaspor’s scoreless draw at Bursaspor.
Another Canuck faced his old team on Sunday, with Patrice Bernier suiting up for Lyngby BK against FC Nordsjælland, with whom Bernier spent the previous three seasons. The 32-year-old midfielder was in the Lyngby’s starting lineup and played 90 minutes as his new club claimed a 1-0 road victory.
In nearby Norway, ‘keeper Lars Hirschfeld and Vålerenga dropped a 2-1 decision to Fredrikstad on Monday, putting Vålerenga in sixth place on the Tippeligaen table.
Three days earlier, Chris Pozniak put in his usual 90 minutes of work for FK Haugesund, who drew 1-1 with second-place Tromsø.
Meanwhile, another Scandinavian top flight wrapped up its season, as the Finnish Veikkausliiga played its final two matchdays over the past week.
Last Wednesday, Frank Jonke’s Inter Turku claimed a point on the road with a 1-1 deadlock at TPS. Jonke remained on the bench for the draw, but did see action in the season finale on Saturday, coming into the match at the 82nd minute as Inter defeated JJK to cement second place in the final league standings.
Also in midweek Finnish play were Riley O’Neill and MyPa, who hosted Tomer Chenchinski’s VPS. O’Neill played the entire match and Chencinski played the final 81 minutes following an injury to the starting goalkeeper as VPS prevailed, 3-2.
O’Neill was again the in the starting lineup on Saturday and scored a 38th minute goal in MyPa’s 4-2 win over hosts Jaro. Chenchinski, meanwhile, went 90 minutes in goal for VPS in their final match of the year – a 2-1 victory over RoPS.
The other two Canadians in the Veikkausliiga, Mason Trafford and Luca Bellisomo, both featured for IFK Mariehamn in a 1-1 draw with Honka. Mariehamn secured the result with a 90th minute strike.
Finally, Issey-Nakajima Farran scored a goal and assisted on another for Brisbane Roar in a 7-1 dismantling of Adelaide United in Australia’s A-League last Friday. Nakajima-Farran entered the match at the 57th minute for Brisbane, who have secured a perfect 12 points in their first four matches of the young A-League campaign.