Jedinak's Villa fail in EPL comeback bid

James Polson
Jedinak's Villa fail in EPL comeback bid

Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak won't be joining Australia teammates Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy in the Premier League next season after Aston Villa's heartbreaking 1-0 Championship play-off loss to Fulham.

Jedinak, who skippered Crystal Palace through the Wembley play-off five years ago, was pushing to return to England's top flight two years after heading north to Birmingham and was substituted late in the second half soon after picking up a yellow card.

The 33-year-old, who scored all three goals in the Socceroos' World Cup play-off win over Honduras in November, did not speak with media after the match and is now due to link up with Bert van Marwijk's national side in Turkey.

A crowd of 85,243 were on hand for the match known as the richest in world sport, with victory worth at least STG160 million ($A280 million) through television payments and other benefits.

It wasn't to be for Villa, who had an extra man for the final 20 minutes after Denis Odoi was sent off for a brutal challenge on Tom Grealish.

SALAH'S AGONY: Mo Salah's World Cup in doubt after 'cynical' Ramos tackle

Jedinak. Pic: AAP

Villa had its first opportunity after 14 minutes when Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli delivered a clearance straight to Robert Snodgrass.

The Scotsman's through-ball failed to connect, however, and from then Fulham began to dictate terms.

They asked questions of Villa's dogged defence during the opening stages but scored with their first genuine chance after 22 minutes.

Ryan Sessegnon found himself in space just outside the box before threading a perfect ball through to Tom Cairney who made no mistake with the finish.

"The feeling is utter disappointment for everybody," Villa manager Steve Bruce said. "But let's not forget we are Aston Villa, a proud club, a big club. We will try to move forward."

Grealish was unlucky not to level proceedings early in the second half when he got his head to an absolute bullet from Ghanaian winger Albert Adomah.

It was again Grealish at the centre of controversy when he had a late penalty shout waved away as Fulham ensured their first visit to Wembley since 1975 would end well.