Aussies abroad: FA Cup heartbreak

There was FA Cup heartbreak for two Aussies on Tuesday morning as a brave Preston North End were beaten 3-1 by EPL powerhouse Manchester United.

Socceroos duo Bailey Wright and Neil Kilkenny both started for Preston in a cracking tie at Deepdale and almost helped the League One club pull off a huge upset.

Wright in particular was superb in a hard-fought first-half, giving United star Falcao no space at all and was also involved in a clash with Marouanne Fellaini which left the Belgian with a bloody nose.

A massive shock looked on the cards two minutes after the break when Preston – the same club that Australian legend Joe Marston made his name – edged in front thanks to a strike from defender Scott Laird.

A spot in the quarter-finals of the famous competition was on the cards for the two Aussies until United’s band of stars finally clicked into gear 25 minutes from the end.

Louis van Gaal’s men equalized through Ander Herrera before Fellaini struck and a late Wayne Rooney penalty ensured the result and a home tie against Arsenal in the last eight.

While there was disappointment for Wright and Kilkenny, a few of other Aussies are still alive in the competition following the weekend’s results and two of them have been drawn to face each other after Tuesday morning’s quarter-final draw.

Adam Federici’s Reading from the Championship have been drawn to travel to League One side Bradford, the home of Aussie defender James Meredith.

In other fixtures Liverpool, who will tour Down Under in July, host Blackburn Rovers while Jason Davidson’s West Bromich Albion are on the road for a clash with Aston Villa.