Olivier Occean celebrates a goal for Gruether Furth.
Courtesy of SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Canadian Exports: Occean remains red-hot in Germany

Fans are hoping forward Olivier Occean saves a few goals for when the Canadian national team re-assembles in June.

Ahead of a friendly against the US and crucial World Cup qualifiers, the Montreal native is tearing it up in Germany. Occean was at it again over the weekend, scoring again as his Greuther Fürth played to a 1-1 draw with Erzgebirge.

Occean tops the German second division with 17 goals as Greuther Fürth sit in second place with 60 points in the 2.Bundesliga table. They trail Eintracht Frankfurt by just a single point and are on course for automatic promotion to Germany’s top flight.

In the English Premier League, Junior Hoilett’s Blackburn Rovers side seemed on course to pick up a point against English Premier League table-toppers Manchester United on Monday before the league leaders scored twice in the last 10 minutes to seal the 2-0 win.

The result, combined with Queens Park Rangers’ win over Arsenal on Saturday, means Rovers are back in the relegation zone. Though tied on points with QPR, they have an inferior goal difference.

Simeon Jackson came on at halftime in place of American Zak Whitbread in Norwich's weekend tilt against Fulham. The Canaries were trailing 2-0 after allowing two goals in the first 13 minutes. They pulled one back, but that was all they could muster in a 2-1 defeat.

Meanwhile, defender David Edgar continues to be a regular in the heart of the Burnley backline as they try to fight their way up the English Championship table. Burnley beat financially-troubled Portsmouth 5-1 on Saturday before dropping a 3-1 decision to Birmingham at home at Turf Moor on Tuesday.

In League One, forward Iain Hume came on in the 61st minute but couldn’t help his Preston North End side pull out a result against Sheffield Wednesday. Preston were already down a goal when Hume came into the game, and conceded again in a 2-0 loss.

In the Netherlands, Atiba Hutchinson’s recovery from a long-term knee injury is on track as Hutchinson earned his place in the starting lineup for PSV Eindhoven in Eredivisie action. Hutchinson played the entire game as PSV beat VVV Venlo.

Eindhoven currently sit fourth in the Dutch top flight — good enough for a Europa League spot. They’re just three points back of AZ Alkmaar in second and four points behind Amsterdam giants Ajax for top spot in the league.

Back in Germany, Adam Straith continues to pick up experience in the 3.Liga with Saarbruken. On loan from Energie Cottbus of the 2.Bundesliga, Straith played the full 90 as Saarbruken played to a 1-1 stalemate with Rot-Weiss Erfurt.

Canadian goalkeepers also saw lots of action over the weekend. Lars Hischfeld’s Valerenga side lost to 3-2 to Stromsgodset Drammen. In the early going in Norway, Valerenga have a win and a loss in their two games thus far in the young Tippeligaen season.

In Romania, Milan Borjan’s loan with Vaslui continued with a 1-1 draw with table-toppers CFR Cluj. Vaslui are third place, eight points back of Cluj.

Haidar Al-Shaibani backstopped his Nîmes team to a 1-1 draw with Orleans in the French third division.

With 50 points, Nîmes are one point out of third place, and automatic promotion back to Ligue 2 a season after being relegated. They’re also just two points back from top spot in the table.

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