Caltex Socceroos defender Bailey Wright has missed out on a trip to Wembley for the Carabao Cup (League Cup) final after losing their semi-final second leg 3-2 against Manchester City on Wednesday morning (AEDT).
Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Manchester a fortnight ago, the Championship club were full of optimism of turning the tide and pulling off a major shock against the EPL leaders.
But goals either side of the break from Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero put paid to their hopes in front of a boisterous crowd at Ashton Gate.
To the Robins’ credit they didn’t throw on the towel and threatened to pull off an astonishing fightback late on.
A sensational header from Marlon Pack on 64 minutes gave them hope, before defender Aden Flint drew them level on the night in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Needing another goal to force extra-time, Lee Johnson’s men left themselves exposed at the back, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring a minute later for City to book their spot in the final with a 5-3 aggregate win.
While it was disappointment for Wright - the Bristol skipper - and his team-mates, they can take plenty of confidence from pushing the runaway Premier League leaders all the way over the two legs.
Wright played the full 90 minutes for his side, starting at centre-back alongside Flint having played most of the Championship season at right-back.
The Robins are currently fifth on the Championship ladder after a six-game winless run in the league which has dented their promotion push.
But they can get back on track this weekend as they host Massimo Luongo’s Queens Park Rangers.
Meanwhile, Tomi Juric is in goal-scoring form ahead of the resumption of the Swiss Super League next month.
The Caltex Socceroos striker found the net for FC Luzern in the 1-1 draw in a friendly against Swiss Challenge League outfit Chiasso overnight.
Juric struck 12 minutes after the break to give Luzern the lead before Chiasso equalised eight minutes from time.
Luzern will play another friendly this weekend against FC Basel.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Robbie Kruse got through the full 90 minutes for Bochum in the 2.Bundesliga as his side was beaten 2-0 at home by MSV Duisburg.
The defeat leaves Bochum in 12th spot on the ladder, just past the halfway point of the campaign.
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