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Sunderland eliminate Manchester United, books Capital One Cup final date at Wembley

Jan 22, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

Britain Soccer League Cup

On any other year, arrival into the Capital One Cup final might not be a big deal around mighty Manchester United.

The so-called League Cup, as we know, is not the first, second or even third trophy pursued annually by the heavyweights of Old Trafford.

But now the wobbly giants cannot even get there!

Sunderland instead will move into the League Cup final at London’s Wembley Stadium, having downed David Moyes’ men fell in a real scrap in Wednesday’s second leg semifinal. Sunderland prevailed in a contest that needed 120 minutes and a fairly inept set of penalties to declare a winner.

Sunderland will face Manchester City in the March final at the famed ground in London.

Having fallen in the first leg, 2-1, Jonny Evans got the goal that seemed to matter most for Moyes’ United, a first half strike that leveled the score on aggregate. Sunderland enjoyed a surprising amount of second-half possession and certainly threatened Manchester United goal a time or two, but could never get the breakthrough goal that would send them to London.

The 2-2 aggregate score sent Wednesday’s match into an extra 30 minute period that sprang amazingly to life right at the end.

With United poised to go through, Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley struck right at the extra time finish, due in great part to a David de Gea’s error, one that they’ll talk about for a while around Old Trafford. So, Sunderland would have gone through at that point, the Black Cats finding themselves in their first domestic cup final since 1992.

But Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored one of his biggest yet for the United, roofing a ball at the final whistle to send the match into a penalty kick tiebreaker (since both home teams had won, 2-1, the score was deadlocked even after the away goals rule.)

Both teams flubbed numerous chances from the 12-yard spot. When Sunderland ‘keeper Vito Mannone saved Rafael’s effort, United was sunk and Sunderland went through.

  1. mdac1012 - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Very exciting ending to this game, both in extra time and penalty shoot outs. That’s why this sport is great, the emotional highs and lows and how quick they were coming were tremendous. This game must have aged David Moyes 10 years.

    • mkbryant3 - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Moyes must be 150 by now.

  2. mianfr - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Opta had Man U as one of the luckiest teams in the league last year.

    My guess is they’re near the bottom this year despite fundamentally probably being not much worse of a team.

    Really a rough situation for Moyes to take over, although he seems to have no real scheme or idea about how to best use the players he does have.

  3. hildezero - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Has an American ever won this contest?

    • mdac1012 - Jan 22, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      Brad Friedel; Blackburn Rovers 2002.

      • hildezero - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:24 AM

        Oh, okay. Thanks, dawg. I appreciate the info on that. I didn’t know that, but 3 punks didn’t understand me…

  4. schlom - Jan 22, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    It was kind of shocking how bad ManU was in this game. They looked like the clear worst team for large stretches of the second half and extra time, at home no less, by a near last placed team. It didn’t look like the team was trying or even really cared about winning – certainly Hernandez blew numerous chances and de Gea somehow couldn’t stop a roller that was hit right at him. The less said about the penalty shootout the better.

  5. danielofthedale - Jan 22, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    So does this mean Sunderland will play in the Europa League next season since City will be in the CL or does the 6th place team get the Europa League spot?

    • robolundgren - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      Only the league cup winner gets the Europa League spot, whereas the FA Cup runner up gets it if the winner is already in a European position in the league table. If Sunderland lose, the Europa spot goes to 6th place.

      • thedeadlockvictim - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        So United may have just opened up a backdoor for themselves to get into Europe.

  6. davidnist2014 - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    Are there other competitions that away goals count more only after an overtime period for a tied match?

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