Well, that was 1-1 thriller!
Brighton and Hove Albion nearly played the role of underdogs to perfection at American Express Community Stadium on Monday evening before a late Yannick Sagbo goal forced the scheduling of a replay back at Hull City.
A Seagulls win would’ve been the third upset of the fifth round, as the Championship’s Wigan Athletic toppled Cardiff City while third division Sheffield United beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 on the weekend.
Brighton struck in the 30th minute on a pretty bit of passing and a brilliant run. Leonard Ulloa backheeled to Will Buckley, who slipped the ball onto back onto the path of the striding Argentine striker. Ulloa took a few touches with Tom Huddlestone in pursuit from behind. Allan McGregor came sliding out but could only get a piece of Ulloa’s half-chip shot from the spot as the Seagulls took a 1-0 lead.
Hull almost answered straightaway off a corner, but Simon Davies strong header struck the post to the right of Peter Brezovan and a second header was collected by the Slovakian goalkeeper.
Ulloa almost doubled the advantage near half but misfired.
The second half found the home side looking for a second with much aplomb, as Hull really struggled to find its flow. Huddlestone had one of the best chances with a well-hit free kick deflected away from goal by Brighton.
The Tigers made changes with under a half-hour to go, with George Boyd and Matty Fryatt hoping to give their club a boost. Sone Aluko won a free kick just outside the box with about 15 minutes to play, but could not convert.
Brighton needed to find a second goal and had many chances, but Hull defender Ahmed Elmohamady was personally responsible for cleaning up Tiger messes. His strong shoulder barge to repossess with five minutes to play turned the ball around for the equalizer. Sagbo got in close and beat Brezovan through the legs off a slick feed from Aluko.
The winner of the replay will host Sunderland on March 8.