Jakupovic penalty hero­ics bol­ster Hull’s sur­vival bid

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

Southamp­ton Hull

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LDIN Jakupovic’s late penalty save handed Hull an­other boost in their Premier League sur­vival fight — and con­demned Sun­der­land to rel­e­ga­tion. Jakupovic palmed away Du­san Tadic’s late spot kick as the vis­i­tors held out grit­tily for a po­ten­tially price­less point that edged closer to safety — they are three points ahead of 18th-placed Swansea, who visit Manch­ester United to­mor­row.

Just as a low-qual­ity af­fair at St Mary’s ap­peared to be pe­ter­ing out to a dull fin­ish, Al­fred N’Di­aye hauled down Maya Yoshida in the box. Tadic lined up the penalty, only for Jakupovic to guess right, and palm the ball to safety.

Marco Silva has now guided Hull to 21 points from his 15 league games at the helm. Hull now host Sun­der­land next week­end.

A list­less first-half ended devoid of goals, chances or ex­cite­ment. Southamp­ton were booed off.

After the break, Sofi­ane Bo­ufal tried to tip­toe through traf­fic rather than blast in a half-vol­ley, and paid the price when Harry Maguire in­ter­cepted. Tadic saw a shot de­flected when he ought to have laid off to the lurk­ing Bo­ufal.

Des­per­ate Saints boss Claude Puel clutched at the straws of sub­sti­tu­tions, only to be booed by his own fans for hook­ing Manolo Gab­bia­dini just shy of the hour. Shane Long should have pulled the trig­ger when through on goal, but his flick again al­lowed Maguire to come to Hull’s res­cue. Hull’s in­domitable cen­tre-half pro­duced yet an­other telling chal­lenge when slid­ing in to en­sure Red­mond’s low cross could not reach Tadic.

Ou­mar Ni­asse wasted a rare open­ing for Hull as the game drifted to­wards the close — only for a mad­cap fi­nal few min­utes that left Saints frus­trated and Hull breath­ing sighs of relief.

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