Sheffield Wednesday will come face-to-face with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the second round of the Carabao Cup after knocking out Sunderland at a three-quarters empty Stadium of Light.
Against the run of play, a calamity at the back from Alim Ozturk gifted the visitors the lead just before the half-hour mark, despite the hosts starting the better of the two teams and were starting to build up some momentum.
Adam Reach added another for the Owls when he headed home for Jos Luhukay’s Wednesday side and halted the Black Cats’ early unbeaten run.
Jack Ross made six changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Luton Town on Saturday with the club having a very busy two weeks with four games including this one in nine days.
Alim Ozturk, Reece James, Denver Hume, Lee Cattermole, Luke O’Nien and Elliot Embleton came into the side for Glenn Loovens, Bryan Oviedo, Adam Matthews, Bali Mumba, Lyndon Gooch and Josh Maja.
Both clubs knew before the match that if they were to win this cup tie then they would face Wolves in the next round.
Sunderland had one of the first chances of the match when Denver Hume played the ball through to Elliot Embleton, who looked like he was in an offside position.
It wasn’t spotted by the assistant and he attempted to place it into the bottom left corner but it drifted wide of the left stick.
Sheffield Wednesday took the lead when a goal kick from the away side was kicked long and Alim Ozturk was guarding it back to Jon McLaughlin.
Then, the Turkish defender allowed Marco Matias to easily take the ball off him and poked it into the bottom right corner of the net from the penalty area.
Just before the interval, Luke O’Nien was given a perfect chance to level when James cut the ball back to him about four yards out. Unluckily for him, his shot was deflected over the bar for a corner for Sunderland.
Sheffield Wednesday almost doubled their lead when the goalscorer, Matias, had his shot cleared off the line by Jack Baldwin.
It almost felt like the Black Cats were desperate to progress through to the next round as Jack Ross brought on Josh Maja and Lyndon Gooch to attempt to get a penalty shootout of the tie or even two goals to set up a clash with Wolves.
It looked as if Sheffield Wednesday had qualified for the second round of the Carabao Cup when they scored a second goal.
Barry Bannan whipped the ball into the penalty area and Adam Reach found some space in the penalty area at the front post. He was given a simple header to nod past Jon McLaughlin and into the left corner of the net.
The Black Cats couldn’t creep their way back into the match as they exited the competition that provided so much joy four and a half years ago when they managed to get to the final at Wembley but in the end, were runners-up to winners, Manchester City.
So, Sheffield Wednesday will face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Hillsborough in the week commencing the 27th August in the second round of the competition before the teams that qualified for Europe are thrown into the hat for cup ties.
Whilst progression in the cup would have been a welcome boost to morale and momentum, having one less competition to worry about - with a mounting injury list - isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. Sunderland now go on to facing Scunthorpe United on Sunday in League One, while Sheffield Wednesday face Brentford at Griffin Park on the same day.