Mile Jedinak scored in successive matches during the international break to help Australia into the AFC World Cup qualification group stages, and break a Palace record in the process.
The Socceroos skipper’s goals in the victories against Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh respectively moved him to nine for his country during his time with the Eagles, surpassing the previous record haul of seven, held by fellow countryman Craig Foster, Aki Riihilahti (Finland) and Ian Walsh (Wales).
Australia won 3-0 in Canberra against Kyrgyzstan before bettering that with a 4-0 thumping of Bangladesh to leapfrog Jordan at the top of the group, and as well as remaining in the mix for a trip to Russia in 2018, the Aussies also booked their place at the 2019 Asian Cup where they’ll aim to retain their title.
Three more Palace players also got on the scoresheet over the past fortnight, with Yannick Bolasie and Bakary Sako scoring crucial goals.
Bolasie netted in both legs of DR Congo’s 5-4 aggregate win against Burundi, including a penalty that proved to be the decisive goal in the second leg, while Sako notched his ninth international goal in a 2-0 win against Botswana that overturned a 2-1 defeat in the first game to send the Eagles through.
Absent from action was Pape Souare who pulled out of Senegal’s squad to play Madagascar through injury, but despite his absence they prevailed with a 5-2 aggregate win, meaning all three of Palace’s African contingent will be present in the qualification group stages.
Joe Ledley scored his first international goal for over five years as Wales suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Holland in Cardiff, with Wayne Hennessey and Jonny Williams also featuring, and Yohan Cabaye played in both of France’s games against Germany and England which were ultimately overshadowed by the horrific scenes in Paris.
Elsewhere Adrian Mariappa captained Jamaica to a 1-0 win in Haiti to help put their CONCACAF qualification hopes back on track after suffering a shock 2-1 home defeat to Panama, but there was no such worries for Chung-yong Lee who helped South Korea seal their place in the next phase by thrashing Laos 5-0 and maintain their 100% record in the group stages.