English soccerThursday, January 23, 2014
Sunderland beats Man United on penalties
MANCHESTER — Manchester United’s troubled season took another turn for the worse when they lost 2-1 to Sunderland in a penalty shootout in a dramatic League Cup semi-final yesterday.
United looked to be heading for the final against Manchester City when they led 1-0 two minutes from the end of extra time before a dreadful error by goalkeeper David de Gea gifted Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley an equalizer.
Javier Hernández scored in the last minute to send the match to a shootout but Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Phil Jones and Rafael all failed to convert their spot-kicks to put Sunderland through.
“We did not play well enough, we had the chances to put it to bed but didn’t,” United manager David Moyes told Sky Sports.
“Sunderland played well and they deserve credit but overall we looked like we would get there until the last minute.
‘‘I was disappointed, but we did not play well enough in the end. They did not give us too many problems, we might have scored on the break but we couldn’t, and it cost us. That’s football, we’ll get on with it, pick ourselves up and go again.”
United were on course for the final when Jonny Evans scored with a close-range header shortly before halftime but De Gea failed to stop a routine 20-yard shot from Bardsley in the 119th minute and could only watch the ball squirm off his palm and into the corner of the net.
United stunned the visitors by hitting back in the final minute of extra time, Hernández sweeping home off the underside of the bar from Januzaj’s low cross to win the game 2-1 and force the shootout with the scores level at 3-3.
“It’s happiness,” Sunderland manager Gus Poyet said. “The feelings are for the fans. It’s been a difficult season, nothing to enjoy but they deserve this. The lads were immense. In the cups you never know what will happen.”
A POOR START
United, seventh in the Premier League and out of the FA Cup after a poor start to Moyes’ reign as manager, were left to rue not only a woeful performance in the shootout but a glaring miss by Hernández in extra time.
United were still without strikers Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney, who are recovering from injury, so Moyes opted for Hernández and Welbeck up front.
Herald with Reuters