FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford add Sunderland scalp

Third-division Bradford City continued their remarkable progress in the FA Cup by beating Premier League Sunderland 2-0 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1976.

AFP| Updated: Feb 15, 2015, 22:18 PM IST
FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford add Sunderland scalp

London: Third-division Bradford City continued their remarkable progress in the FA Cup by beating Premier League Sunderland 2-0 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1976.

Bradford, beaten League Cup finalists in 2013, stunned Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in round four and they pulled off another upset at Valley Parade courtesy of a John O`Shea own goal and a strike by Sunderland old boy Jon Stead.

Phil Parkinson`s side, 37 places below Premier League strugglers Sunderland in League One, will now take their place in Monday`s draw for the last eight.

Bradford`s fans witnessed home wins over Arsenal and Aston Villa during their side`s run to the League Cup final two years ago and they had a goal to celebrate within three minutes of kick-off against Sunderland.

Filipe Morais`s free-kick from wide on the right found Billy Clarke at the back post and although his left-foot shot was flying well wide, it struck Sunderland captain O`Shea on the leg and cannoned into the net.

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher had a penalty appeal waved away and home goalkeeper Ben Williams saved from Danny Graham and Patrick van Aanholt before Stead made it 2-0 in the 61st minute.

This time Sunderland winger Adam Johnson was at fault, dallying on the ball before playing a clearance straight to James Hanson, whose header freed Stead to squeeze a shot beneath visiting goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The on-loan Huddersfield Town striker has now scored in all five rounds of this season`s competition.Earlier, a half-time rallying cry from new manager Tim Sherwood inspired Aston Villa to beat Premier League rivals Leicester City 2-1 and book their place in the last eight.

Leicester enjoyed the best of the first half at Villa Park, with Marcin Wasilewski`s header grazing the post and Matty James forcing Shay Given into a sensational one-handed save.

But Sherwood, watching from the stands after being appointed as the successor to Paul Lambert on Saturday, made a visit to the home changing room at the interval and Villa were a different team in the second period.

After Christian Benteke had twice gone close, Leandro Bacuna broke the deadlock in the 68th minute when he collected a pass from Ron Vlaar, cut inside Danny Simpson and curled a shot around Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from 18 yards.

A terrible blunder from the veteran Schwarzer, who allowed a tame shot from Villa substitute Scott Sinclair to squirm past him, saw the home side double their lead in the 89th minute.

Andrej Kramaric replied for Leicester with a magnificent header in the first minute of stoppage time, but it was too little, too late.

On Sherwood`s half-time intervention, Villa assistant manager Scott Marshall told the BBC: "Yeah, he came in there and made a few points to the lads. The boys took them on board and delivered it in the second half."