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Finlay’s Monday Run-Down: Do you care that Sunderland are out of the cup?

“The Black Cats are out of the Carabao Cup. But, to what extent do you care about Sunderland’s exit from the EFL competition?” asks RR’s junior reporter Finlay Anderson.

Sunderland v Hull City - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sunderland are out of the Carabao Cup at the first round stage after losing a penalty shootout to Hull City, after the match ended goalless in 90 minutes.

Phil Parkinson’s side had the better of the chances, but Will Grigg’s missed penalty proved crucial, and the penalty shootout ended 5-4.

The Team...

Phil Parkinson included two new signings in his starting eleven for the Black Cats’ Carabao Cup round one tie against Hull City. Both Aiden O’Brien and Bailey Wright began the match from the off, with Will Grigg, who impressed in pre-season, leading the line.

Lee Burge started the game in between the sticks, ahead of new goalkeeper, Remi Matthews. Max Power partnered George Dobson in the centre of midfield, with Josh Scowen being dropped to the bench. Also, youngster, Dan Neil, only had a place on the bench after a couple of eye-catching performances in pre-season.

Sunderland v Hull City - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

First Half Action

The Black Cats began the match very well and almost had the lead in the opening 20 seconds, when Grigg cut the ball back to Max Power, who diverted it goal-bound, but it was directed away from goal by Josh Emmanuel.

With just over five minutes gone, the hosts should have had the lead when the ball dropped for Maguire, who tried to get the ball on his strongest foot, but he fired marginally wide of the right post.

Around ten minutes later, another chance came the way of the Black Cats when Denver Hume dinked a cross into the penalty area from a free-kick and O’Nien carved a chance out for himself, but his header dropped straight into the gloves of the Hull goalkeeper.

Sunderland were looking very, very threatening as the match progressed and Will Grigg produced a brilliant chance for his strike partners, when he made a sprint in behind and then played the ball across the face of goal, where Aiden O’Brien was waiting. O’Brien outstretched his leg, but was unable to create a connection with the ball, allowing it to bounce away from danger.

With the first half beginning to end, it was one-way traffic when the ball was slipped through to Aiden O’Brien, who carried it into the penalty area, but aimed his attempt just wide of the left post.

As the first half came to a close, the referee blew the half time whistle with the score standing at Sunderland AFC 0-0 Hull City.

Sunderland v Hull City - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Second Half Action

At the start of the second half, Hull showed signs of attack, but lacked the cutting edge when Honeyman whipped the ball into the penalty area, where Martin Samuelsen was awaiting the arrival of his cross. When it was in a threatening position, Samuelsen leaped and directed the ball towards goal, but it fell into the gloves of Lee Burge.

The Black Cats did have the ball in the back of the net with just over twenty minutes of the game remaining; only for it to be ruled out for offside. This was when O’Nien found space inside the penalty area, before sliding the ball through to Grigg, who touched the ball into the back of the net, but the Sunderland striker was in an offside position.

With the option of a penalty shootout to decide the game slowly coming into sight, the Black Cats almost gave themselves the advantage when Charlie Wyke was fed the ball inside the penalty area, and turned, but his left-footed shot was saved by the Hull City goalkeeper.

As the additional time ended, the referee blew the full time whistle, with the match ending goalless - meaning that both Sunderland and Hull would contest a penalty shootout.

Sunderland v Hull City - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Penalty Shootout...

Sunderland took the first penalty of the shootout, with Will Grigg stepping up, but his penalty was fired straight down the middle, only for the Hull keeper to deny Grigg from giving the Black Cats the lead.

Malik Wilks then took Hull City’s first penalty and effortlessly, touched the ball into the bottom right corner, before Max Power levelled the shootout, converting his penalty.

Smallwood netted the Tigers’ second penalty, before Luke O’Nien did the same for Sunderland, firing his penalty into the bottom right corner.

Samuelsen arrowed his penalty into the bottom left corner, with Burge diving the correct way, but missing the ball.

Both Gooch and Wyke scored Sunderland’s fourth and fifth penalty, whilst Honeyman netted Hull’s fourth, leaving Lewis-Potter to take the away side’s last spot-kick, which he did and buried it into the bottom left corner.

Finlay’s Verdict....

Competitive football is back!

The Black Cats are back to playing competitive matches at the Stadium of Light, and for fans, the feeling and the buzz returned. But, it definitely wasn’t the same feeling that fans would normally have. The feeling of enjoying a pre-match pint with friends and awaiting watching the upcoming match at the Stadium of Light was changed with fans trying to avoid technical difficulties to be able to stream the game on an online stream provided by the club. It wasn’t a normal experience, but the fact that Sunderland are back to playing competitive football is very exciting for us supporters.

Obviously, everyone involved in football wants to win every game that they play, so the disappointment will be there, considering the amount of chances that we had. This season gaining promotion to the Championship is our number one priority, so all of the cups should be used just for gaining fitness and boosting confidence levels.

The exit from the Carabao Cup will hurt for the team as, for most of the game, we dominated Hull City and should have probably put the game out of sight before half time.

There were a lot of positives that can be taken from Saturday’s tie, but not finishing off sides must be something that Parkinson has to work on over the next couple of days ahead of the start of League One at the weekend.

On Tuesday night, we open our EFL Trophy campaign with a home match against Aston Villa’s under-21’s. The manager has already confirmed that the youngsters will be given match minutes, with Dan Neil being one player who caught the eye in pre-season and will relish the chance to hopefully impress.

The EFL Trophy is the least of our priorities this season, but progressing in tournaments is always nice - winning does become a habit, after all.

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