Sunderland 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Alim Ozturk’s horrendous error cost Sunderland their place in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
His failure to deal with a routine ball lead to Marco Matias’ opener, with Adam Reach killing the game with a second late on.
Jack Ross’s men played well, showcasing intense pressing and smart movement, but ultimately an individual error left them chasing the game.
Wednesday won a more open, even, second half after being out-played by the League One team for most of the first.
Sunderland were unable to capitalise on their bright start with Elliot Embleton scuffing wide after cleverly beating the Wednesday offside trap.
The England under-19 international dragged wide across goal, when skipper George Honeyman was waiting for a tap-in in the middle.
Sheffield answered immediately with Jon McLaughlin impressively holding Matias’ powerful half-volley. The Portuguese forward’s low strike came after a trademark Steven Fletcher knock down.
The Championship side struck from nowhere. Alim Ozturk hesitated dealing with a long-ball over top of the defence. Matias quickly nicked possession from him, tackling the Turk and instinctively slotting past McLaughlin in one motion for the softest of openers.
Sunderland could have been level instantly but Luke O’Nien lacked conviction when through on goal. His half-volley harmlessly rolled through to Joe Wildsmith in the Sheffield goal, our new midfielder struggled to generate power under pressure.
Just before half-time the Black Cats missed a golden chance. O’Nien fluffing his lines again. He was brilliantly tee-up by Reece James at full-stretch, but lacked confidence hesitating before scuffing six yards out. Tom Lees was able to block the weak effort wide, but O’Nien should have denied him the opportunity to do so.
Jack Baldwin’s excellent anticipation kept the lads in the game. The Wearsiders failed to deal with a deep cross with Ozturk heading into the sky and James failing to clear. It fell to Matias, his rising half-volley was headed off the line by our new centre-half.
As Sunderland chased the game they started leave gaps for the Championship side. McLaughlin was quick off his line to deny Adam Reach, when Baldwin failed to deal with long-ball.
Reach finished the tie, glancing in from a Barry Bannan cross. He found the bottom corner, taking advantage of a fantastic delivery from the Scot.
Jon McLaughlin, 7/10: Really impressive, faultless for the goal, looks confident in all aspects of his decision making.
Reece James, 6/10: Improved after a shaky start and got caught out a few times defensively.
Jack Baldwin, 7/10: Looked like a Championship quality defender bringing the ball out from defence.
Alim Ozturk, 5/10: His dreadful error cost Sunderland their chance at cup glory.
Denver Hume, 7/10: Looks a player. Played with great intensity, showed great confidence and glimpses of real quality too.
Luke O’Nien, 6/10: Linked play well between midfield and attack but squandered his big moments in front of goal.
Lee Cattermole, 7/10: Lead the team well, put in some brilliant tackles and mostly made smart decisions in possession.
Max Power, 6/10: Solid if unspectacular performance.
George Honeyman, 6/10: Typical energetic, effective Honeyman performance.
Elliot Embleton, 6/10: Struggled to get into the game hopefully his next opportunity will come in a more central position.
Chris Maguire, 7/10: Questionable decision making at times, but Maguire held up the ball well throughout.
(SUB) Lynden Gooch, 7/10: Typical lively performance, couldn’t quite create the magic we needed.
(SUB) Josh Maja, 6/10: Couldn’t bag the goal he was brought on to score.
(SUB) Luke Molyneux, N/A: Didn’t get much of chance after coming on late in the game.
Man of the Match: Lee Cattermole.