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Fulham 1-3 Sunderland 04 rply fac 1415 ChronicleLive

last updated Wednesday 04th February 2015, 6:59 PM


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James Hunter at ChronicleLive


Fulham (1) 1-3 (0) Sunderland


Sunderland are through to the last 16 of the FA Cup after winning their fourth-round replay against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Black Cats trailed to Hugo Rodallega's first-half strike, but an own-goal from Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli, Ricky Alvarez's first goal for the club and a late penalty from Jordi Gomez turned the game round and sent Sunderland through.

Gus Poyet's men will now face League One Bradford City at Valley Parade in the fifth round a week on Sunday.

Despite the comfortable scoreline in West London, Sunderland had to do things the hard way.

And their problems started even before kick-off when they were dealt a late blow as Connor Wickham withdrew through injury just five minutes before the game was due to begin, with Steven Fletcher stepping up from the bench to start.

And that meant Poyet's starting XI showed four changes to that which began the weekend win against Burnley.

Vito Mannone replaced Costel Pantilimon in goal, Emanuele Giaccherini came in for Seb Larsson and Alvarez replaced Adam Johnson, the latter having undergone minor surgery on a thumb problem.

Jermain Defoe was a surprise inclusion, with Poyet having hinted at the weekend that he would rest his new signing.

Sunderland had only named six subs, and Fletcher's promotion meant they had only five men on the bench.

Fulham boss Kit Symons also made three changes, following his side's weekend defeat at Blackburn.

In came Jack Grimmer, Alex Kacaniklic and Seko Fofana coming in for Ashley Richards, ex-Newcastle man Scott Parker, and Lasse Christensen.

Sunderland made a positive start and put Fulham under pressure right from the off, winning a succession of early corners but without making them count.

Gomez tested Bettinelli with a low shot which the keeper did well to keep out at the foot of his right-hand post.

On the quarter-hour mark Fletcher had the ball in the back of the net, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

A minute later Fletcher brought another stop out of Bettinelli with a low shot across the face of goal from the left side of the box, which was tipped behind for a corner.

Sunderland threatened to overrun Fulham at that point, but the Londoners stunned the 4,000-strong travelling support when they took the lead against the run of play from virtually their first attack on 28 minutes.

Patrick van Aanholt did well to clear a dangerous ball from Kostas Stafylidis behind for a corner, and Fulham took advantage from the set-piece.

Ross McCormack's left-wing flag-kick found Cauley Woodrow inside the area and his shot came back off the bar, with Rodallega forcing the loose ball home from close range.

Bettinelli had to be alert to keep out a shot from Alvarez as Sunderland set about a response.

But the goal had given Fulham confidence and McCormack went close with a 25-yard shot that flew just wide of the left-hand post eight minutes before the interval.

Sunderland started the second half as they had the first, and should have got back on terms in the 53rd minute when an Alvarez shot was deflected into the path of the unmarked van Aanholt but he could only scuff his effort wide with his weaker right foot when he should have done better.

Five minutes later, Fulham missed a great chance to double their lead when another left-wing McCormack cross caught out the Sunderland defence but this time Kacaniklic put a free header wide of the target.

And they paid the penalty three minutes later as the Black Cats levelled the game - albeit thanks to a terrible error from Fulham keeper Bettinelli.

Van Aanholt's cross from the left was deflected up into the air and it should have been a routine catch for the Italian but he somehow fumbled and, despite Fulham's desperate attempts to clear, the referee's assistant immediately flagged to indicate the ball was over the line.

Giaccherini curled a right-footed shot inches wide of the right-hand post from just inside the box five minutes later.

But it was Alvarez who put Sunderland ahead 15 minutes from time.

The midfielder cut inside from the right, beat two players and smashed an unstoppable shot into the far corner to give the Black Cats a deserved lead.

And Sunderland wrapped it up in the third minute of injury time when sub Danny Graham was fouled by Nikolay Bodurov inside the area, and referee Paul Tierney pointed to the penalty spot.

Gomez stepped up to send Bettinelli the wrong way from the spot, and make sure of Sunderland's place in the fifth round.























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