Aussies In The Thick Of Fa Cup Action
The romance of the FA Cup is well and truly alive and kicking and Australian players were at the heart of several thrilling encounters overnight.
The romance of the FA Cup is well and truly alive and kicking and Australian players were at the heart of several thrilling encounters overnight. The highlight match saw Championship play-off contenders Luton Town host Premier League high-flyers Liverpool, in what turned out to be the most spectacular match. The eight-goal thriller saw an upset on the cards, with Luton, featuring Chris Coyne at the back, leading 3-1 in the early stages of the second half. However Liverpool, with Qantas Socceroo Harry Kewell playing a full game, started their comeback and thanks to some superb goals, especially from Xavier Alonso with two-range gems, Liverpool eventually managed a 5-3 win. Middlesbrough, with Mark Schwarzer on the bench after asking for a transfer request earlier in the week, were held by non-league side Nuneaton Borough to a 1-1 draw. Fellow Aussie Brad Jones stepped in for Schwarzer and will now be hoping for an extended run in the side now that Schwarzer has made his intentions clear. Qantas Socceroo striker Mark Viduka played a full game. Milton Keynes almost pulled off a major upset and two Aussies were at the heart of a superb comeback against Championship side Southampton. Nick Rizzo and Gareth Edds (pictured in dark shirt) both scored late goals to draw the Dons level with Southampton, but a deflected goal in the dying minutes saw the Saints get home 4-3. Rizzo replaced fellow Aussie Trent McClenahan in the 64th minute, while Edds played a full game for the League One strugglers. Richard Garcia-s injury curse struck again, when he was replaced in the 52nd minute of Colchester-s upset 2-1 away win at Championship promotion contender Sheffield United. Garcia appeared to limp off with a hamstring injury. Qantas Socceroo Tim Cahill returned to his former club Millwall and had to settle for a 1-1 draw, as Everton scored late to level it. Lucas Neill saw game time, while Brett Emerton remained on the bench, as Blackburn Rovers recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over QPR; Stan Lazaridis played a full game in Birmingham City-s 0-0 draw with Torquay; Josip Skoko played 72 minutes and John Filan a full game, as Wigan Athletic were held to a 1-1 home draw by Leeds United and Jacob Burns played a full game for Barnsley in a 1-1 draw with Walsall. Pedge Bojic played 79 minutes for Northampton as they lost 4-1 away at Crystal Palace, which did not feature Qantas Socceroo Tony Popovic, and finally Paul Reid saw little game time as Brighton Hove Albion lost 1-0 at home to Coventry.
Poll: choose your Caltex Socceroos starting XI to face Colombia in London
After Saturday morning’s (AEDT) loss to Norway, the Caltex Socceroos get a chance at redemption when they take on Colombia in London. Coach Bert van Marwijk handed debuts to the likes of Dimitri Petratos, Andrew Nabbout and Aleksandar Susnjar in Oslo and is sure to freshen up
What’s next for the Caltex Socceroos?
While Bert van Marwijk’s debut game as Caltex Socceroos coach didn’t go to plan, the side gets a chance to put things right when they take on Colombia in London on Wednesday morning (Australian time). The South Americans are a dangerous side, having beaten Australia’s Group C
Opponent Watch: Deschamps slams ‘cocky’ France
The Caltex Socceroos weren’t the only team in pre-World Cup friendly action this weekend, with all three of their Group C opponents in Russia featuring in matches. And Australia’s first opponents at the World Cup France suffered a setback in their preparations against Colombia
Analysis: debutants Petratos, Susnjar the positives after Oslo loss
Result aside, Dimi Petratos and Aleksandar Susnjar had assured debuts on Saturday morning. It was encouraging to see two starting XI debutants given a chance in Bert van Marwijk’s first game in charge. REPORT: Caltex Socceroos undone by Norway in BvM's maiden match ANAL