Lincoln is first nonleague team in FA Cup quarterfinals since 1914
LINCOLN 1, BURNLEY 0
On a dramatic Saturday of late goals and upsets in the FA Cup, Lincoln became the first nonleague team to reach the quarterfinals in more than a century and beleaguered English champion Leicester was eliminated by third-tier opposition.
Lincoln, which plays in the fifth tier of English soccer, beat Premier League team Burnley, 1-0, on the road thanks to an 89th-minute goal from Sean Raggett. Goal-line technology was needed to confirm Raggett’s close-range header at the far post crossed the line.
The most recent nonleague team to reach the last eight of the FA Cup previously had been Queens Park Rangers in 1914.
Lincoln was playing in the round of 16 for the first time in 130 years, with 81 places separating them and Burnley in English soccer’s pyramid.
“It’s unheard of in modern-day football,” Raggett said. “It shows just what an achievement this is.”
Hours later, Millwall provided the second shock of the day. It defeated visiting Leicester, 1-0, thanks to another very late goal. Shaun Cummings, a defender like Raggett, struck in the 90th minute on another day to forget for Leicester, which is fighting a relegation battle in the Premier League the season after winning the league title at odds of 5,000 to 1.
Millwall’s win was even more stunning considering it was reduced to 10 men in the 52nd minute on Jake Cooper’s red card.
Millwall also has beaten Bournemouth and Watford on its run to the quarterfinals.
Lincoln previously eliminated second-tier League Championship teams Ipswich and Brighton.
“This sums up the FA Cup as a whole,” Millwall Manager Neil Harris said.
SPAIN: With three goals in six minutes, Kevin Gameiro made a strong case to be Atletico Madrid’s first-choice striker in a 4-1 win at Sporting Gijon.
The Spanish league said only Bebeto in the 1995-96 season and David Villa in 2005-06 have scored faster hat tricks.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale made a scoring return for Real Madrid after nearly three months recovering from ankle surgery. His goal helped Real Madrid defeat visiting Espanyol, 2-0.
ITALY: Atalanta maintained its push for a European spot by defeating relegation-threatened Crotone, 1-0, at home.
It was more difficult than Atalanta perhaps expected, but Andrea Conti scored to propel Atalanta into the fourth spot, one point above Lazio and three above Inter Milan, which visits Bologna on Sunday.
FRANCE: Away from home, Nice striker Mario Balotelli has more red cards than goals.
The Italian has scored nine in the French league so far, but all have been at home. On Saturday he was sent off for the second time in an away match and the third time overall during his first campaign in France. However, despite his red card, Nice won at Lorient, 1-0, to move up to second place behind Monaco.
Balotelli returned after missing last weekend’s action with a fever but was shown a straight red following an altercation with Lorient defender Zargo Toure. From initial video replays, it seemed difficult to ascertain what Balotelli did wrong other than backing into Toure with his arms up as they challenged for a ball.
In its first FA Cup fifth-round game in 130 years, Lincoln defeated Burnley of the Premier League.