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Match Reports

REPORT: ALBION BEAT MILLWALL AFTER CUP DRAMA

17 March 2019

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Bennett Dean
Albion celebrate after winning the penalty shootout against Millwall.
  • Albion progress to the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals after a penalty shootout win over Millwall
  • Alex Pearce and Aiden O’Brien give Millwall 2-0 lead
  • Jurgen Locadia and Solly March score for the Seagulls to take the tie into extra time
  • Maty Ryan makes important save in penalty shootout to force sudden death

Brighton & Hove Albion created another piece of Emirates FA Cup history after a dramatic sudden death penalty shoot-out victory over Millwall at The Den, which booked Albion's place at Wembley Stadium.

Goals from Alex Pearce and Aiden O’Brien looked to have ended Albion’s FA Cup journey, but two late goals from Jurgen Locadia and Solly March sent the tie into extra time.

The game then went to penalties after a goalless 30 minutes, and Jake Cooper missed the decisive spot-kick to seal the Seagulls a place in the last four for the first time in 36 years.

Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat Crystal Palace last Saturday, as Beram Kayal replaced the suspended Yves Bissouma.

Millwall started the livelier of the two sides, as Jed Wallace saw his cross-shot go just past the far post, before Lee Gregory’s volley went wide inside the opening five minutes.

The Seagulls continued to ride out some sustained early pressure from the hosts, as Shane Duffy made two excellent blocks in quick succession on the edge of the box.

Kayal Millwall.jpg

Openings were few and far between for Hughton’s men, but Knockaert and Davy Propper engineered a chance for Kayal, whose effort from the edge of the box was saved by David Martin.

Gregory was involved in the thick of the action again down the other end, when he was allowed to turn inside the area and saw his resulting effort land on the roof of the net.

Knockaert created Albion’s next chance, as he whipped in an enticing cross towards Kayal, but Martin comfortably kept out the Israeli’s downward header at his near post as the first half finished goalless.

There was almost a horrible moment for the Albion defence within three minutes of the re-start, as Gregory almost capitalised on some indecision from Shane Duffy and Maty Ryan, before Albion eventually cleared their lines.

Kayal was next to try his luck for the Seagulls with a shot from distance that was parried away by Martin, and Knockaert was unable to play the ball back into the area from the rebound.

The game began to open up as the weather conditions deteriorated, and Wallace had a chance to give the hosts the lead, but was brilliantly thwarted by Ryan, who spread himself to deny the Lions number seven.

Team Millwall 170319.jpg

The Australian shot-stopper had to make himself big again, this time to deny Gregory on the angle, before Jake Cooper misjudged the resulting corner into the box.

But the hosts broke the deadlock in the 70th minute, courtesy of Pearce, who rose highest from the corner and saw his header beat Ryan.

Millwall doubled their advantage nine minutes later courtesy of Aiden O’Brien, who swept the ball in from close range to give the Seagulls plenty to do in the closing stages.

Albion looked to restore parity almost immediately, as March found Bernardo with an inviting set piece into the box, but the Brazilian headed wide.

But Locadia gave Hughton’s men a lifeline with 88 minutes on the clock, as March brilliantly worked his way to the byline to tee up the Dutchman, who turned and rifled an unstoppable volley past Martin.

March silenced The Den deep into second-half stoppage time when his free kick slipped through Martin’s grasp, sparking wild scenes of jubilation amongst the 2,338 Seagulls fans.

Goal Cele Millwall 170319.jpg

Re-energised by that dramatic late leveller, Albion pressed forward at the start of extra time through Jose Izquierdo, whose effort was saved by Martin at his near post.

Ryan was then called into action down the other end moments later, as he made a terrific one-handed stop to deny James Meredith, before Mahlon Romeo blazed his follow-up effort over the bar.

Albion pressed forward again in this absorbing contest, as Izquierdo’s cross worked its way all the way through to March, who hit the side netting from deep inside the area.

The Colombian then looked to tee up Locadia inside the area, but the Dutchman lost his footing, allowing Millwall to clear.

Locadia continued his impressive display since coming off the bench, as he shot just over the bar from March’s deep corner, before Dale Stephens fired straight at Martin.

This breathless cup tie then took yet another twist after Ferguson was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Lewis Dunk.

Locadia put the ball in the back of the net late on after being teed up by Martin Montoya, but the flag was raised and the tie went to penalties.

Murray was first to step up and saw his spot-kick hit the bar, before Shaun Williams, Locadia, Ryan Tunnicliffe, March, Ryan Leonard and Propper all scored from the spot.

Romeo then saw his spot-kick saved by Ryan, before Stephens and Steve Morrison successfully converted to take the game into sudden death.

Dunk was first to step up and the defender fired his spot kick home, before Cooper missed the target, which meant Albion booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Penalty Cele Millwall 170319.jpg

The cup draw took place soon after the final whistle at The Den, and the Seagulls were drawn against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

ALBION: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Stephens, Propper, Kayal (Locadia 73); Knockaert (Izquierdo 73), Murray, Jahanbakhsh (March 67).

SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Bong, Bruno, Burn.


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