Fulham 1-3 Sunderland 04 rply fac 1415 The F.A.

last updated Wednesday 04th February 2015, 6:56 PM
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Gary Stonehouse at The F.A.

Fulham (1) 1-3 (0) Sunderland

Sunderland will travel to Bradford City in The FA Cup Fifth Round after they came from behind against Fulham to record a 3-1 victory.

Despite the Premier League side dominating from the off, it was the Championship underdogs that took the lead against the run of play as Hugo Rodallega's first goal in ten games gave them the lead at half-time. But a stirring fightback after the break, which included an equalising own goal from Cottagers goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli and strikes from Ricardo Alvarez and Jordi Gomez, saw the Black Cats progress.

The visitors from the north east started the match the better, looking lively up front with Jermain Defoe partnering Steven Fletcher, the latter a last-minute replacement for Connor Wickham who picked up an injury in the warm up having originally been named in the starting line-up. The setback left Gus Poyet's men with only five subs, having only named six to start with.

Sunderland controlled most of the possession, but rarely threatened Bettinelli in the Fulham net, and they were to be punished for their lacklustre attacking on 28 minutes.

Ross McCormack whipped in a low corner from the left and found Cauley Woodrow. The England U20 international saw his effort cannon down off the crossbar, but the Colombian was on hand the poke home from close range.

Bettinelli then saved well from Alvarez, and long-rangers from Gomez and Patrick van Aanholt were narrowly off target as the visitors looked to claw level, but they trailed as the sides trooped off at the break.

No doubt after some strong and encouraging words from their manager Poyet, the visitors were quick out of the traps after the restart, forcing several early corners.

Defoe was among those frustrated by the home defence as they proved a tough nut to crack, protecting their area with real stubbornness to block several attempts at goal. As has been the case many a time this season, Sunderland's finishing was found wanting, but they received a helping hand for their equaliser - quite literally.

Left-back Van Aanholt's cross was deflected as it looped towards keeper Bettinelli for what looked like a bread-and-butter catch - but the big shotstopper fumbled his take and the ball crept over the line. He quickly clawed it back out before the defence cleared, but the eagle-eyed assistant awarded the goal, just after the hour mark.

Sunderland were now in the ascendency as they attacked the end housed by their 3,700 fans, and they had them celebrating as Alvarez turned the score on its head with a thunderbolt.

He received the ball down the right and bombed forward inside the area, where he left two Fulham defenders for dead. He pulled the ball back onto his left foot, and thumped his side into the lead from the corner of the box.

Tempers threatened to spill over after a minor melee as we entered the final ten minutes, resulting in Fofana picking up a caution for home side and Giaccherini and Alvarez having their names taken for Sunderland.

England U19s forward Patrick Roberts was introduced from the bench by Kit Symons as the Championship side desperately tried to force extra time, but their misery was compounded in added time as Gomez converted a penalty after a foul on Danny Graham by Nikolay Bodurov inside the area.

Fulham (4-3-1-2): 40 Marcus Bettinelli; 37 Jack Grimmer, 4 Shaun Hutchinson, 6 Nikolay Bodurov, 3 Konstantinos Stafylidis; 11 Alexander Kacaniklic, 19 Ryan Tunnicliffe, 12 Seko Fofana; 44 Ross McCormack (C); 16 Cauley Woodrow, 20 Hugo Rodallega.
Substitutes: 21 Lasse Vigen Christensen for Fofana 81; 14 Patrick Roberts for Kacaniklic 81.
Substitutes not used: 1 Gabor Kiraly; 13 Elsad Zverotic; 25 Moussa Dembele; 27 George Williams; 33 Dan Burn.

Goals: Rodallega 28.

Bookings: Woodrow 40; Bodurov 62; Fofana 81; McCormack 89; Hutchinson 90.

Sunderland (4-1-2-1-2): 25 Vito Mannone; 15 Anthony Reveillere, 27 Santiago Vergini, 16 John O'Shea (C), 3 Patrick van Aanholt; 4 Liam Bridcutt; 23 Emanuele Giaccherini; 14 Jordi Gomez; 20 Ricardo Alvarez; 9 Steven Fletcher, 28 Jermain Defoe.
Substitutes: 19 Danny Graham for Fletcher 74; 42 Liam Agnew for Alvarez 87; 5 Wes Brown for Giaccherini 90.
Substitutes not used: 1 Costel Pantilimon; 22 Sebastian Coates.

Bookings: Bridcutt 25; Giaccherini 81; Alvarez 81.

Goals: Bettinelli (OG) 61, Alvarez 75, Gomez 90.

Referee: Mr P Tierney.

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