Aussies Abroad Wrap: Bailey Wright secures promotion, Taggart nets first goal of the season

Overnight, Bailey Wright helped Sunderland secure a 2-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers to claim promotion to the EFL Championship while Adam Taggart netted in a 3-1 comeback victory for Cerezo Osaka in Japan. 

Bailey Wright and Sunderland AFC have successfully been promoted to the EFL Championship for the first time since 2018, joining fellow Socceroo Riley Mcgree in the English second tier. 

The 29-year-old, who was key in Sunderland's run to promotion this season, put together a calm and collected performance despite suffering from an illness he gained prior to facing the Wanderers.  

Wright marshalled the defence, helping to keep a clean sheet as the Black Cats ran out 2-0 winners at Wembley Stadium.

“We have done our talking on the pitch. Wycombe gave us a great game but we deserved it,” Wright told BBC Newcastle. “To a man everyone at the club deserves this day and we’re going to enjoy the moment.

“We knew that if we were at our best we could beat anyone. We knew what Wycombe could do but we knew we had the quality to hurt them. I’ve been through some difficult times at this club so we’re going to soak this up and enjoy it.”

While the bulk of the Black Cats players arrived to London by plane, Wright had an unorthodox arrival as he travelled by helicopter due to suffering with a stomach bug in the run-up to the final, training separately from the squad. 

"He had a sickness bug on Thursday and didn't train. He trained on Friday morning but we kept him separate from the group," Sunderland manager, Alex Neil said to Chroniclelive.

"When we flew down, we got him a helicopter, again to keep him separate but it's the measure of the man, isn't it, to then put in a performance like that - to win headers, to be aggressive, and do what he did."

Wright netted two goals for the Black Cats across 40 games in what was an impressive season for the Socceroo in England. 

Elsewhere in the UK, Nathaniel Atkinson and his Scottish side Heart of Midlothian F.C. were defeated 2-0 by Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park. 

The young defender played the full 120 minutes for Hearts and was joined by compatriot, and as yet uncapped Cameron Devlin, for 105 minutes. But two goals in two minutes from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright allowed Rangers to secure a Cup-Final victory after extra-time. 

Rangers Hearts
Two quick fire goals in extra-time from Rangers sunk the JamTarts 2-0

Adam Taggart netted his first goal of the season for Cerezo Osaka to help the Japanese side secure a 3-1 comeback victory at home in the J1 League. 

A swift counter-attack from Osaka saw Hiroaki Okuno played in behind and after his pass to Taggart went through Jun Ichimori's legs, all the 28-year-old had to do was find the back of the net to score his first goal of the season in Japan. 

For Nathaniel Atkinson and Bailey Wright, their respective cup finals signalled the last games of the season for the Australian pair while Adam Taggart and Cerezo Osaka will be back in action this Wednesday evening against Urawa Red Diamonds.