Oxford end 27-year wait
For the first time in 27 seasons Oxford United have reached the quarter-finals of the competition they won in 1986. But they needed a penalty shoot-out to see off a Sunderland side seemingly determined to give new manager Phil Parkinson a lift.
After 25 minutes gone, Marc Mcnulty hit the post with a powerful shot. A bit too powerful: the ball rebounded into Oxford possession, the home midfield broke and, after Tarique Fosu had apparently lost possession in the Sunderland area, the ball fell invitingly for Rob Hall, who smashed it into the net for his first goal since November 2017.
Sunderland poured forward in the second half but shots were wayward until, with 12 minutes left, Mcnulty seized on Oxford’s defensive indecision following Grant Leadbitter’s corner and powered home the equaliser. Mcnulty might have had the winner, but Simon Eastwood saved his shot. And substitute Luke
O’nien should have been awarded a penalty, but the referee decided there were enough spot kicks about to arrive. Oxford demonstrated their greater accuracy by winning the shoot-out 4-2, sending their fans home singing of Wembley.
Colchester United fought back from behind to beat fellow League Two side
Crawley Town 3-1. A Luke Norris header cancelled out Dannie Bulman’s opener for the home side before an own goal and Luke Gambin’s 79th-minute shot put Colchester through.