Southampton 1-0 Sunderland: Boufal fires Saints to quarter final

Date published: Wednesday 26th October 2016 9:39

Sofiane Boufal: Scores winner for Saints

Sofiane Boufal: Scores winner for Saints

Southampton booked their place in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a narrow 1-0 win over Sunderland at St Marys.

The Saints took the lead in the 66th minute thanks to a moment of brilliance from Sofiane Boufal, who curled an effort into the top right corner, in off the crossbar.

It was a piece of quality worth of being the match winner, and in a game with few chances it became a memorable occasion for Boufal to notch his first goal for the club.

David Moyes was sent to the stands late on for the Black Cats as more misery was piled upon their terrible start to the season.

Boufal was one of nine changes to the Southampton line-up, with boss Claude Puel mindful of their Premier League and Europa League campaigns.

Moyes made just four changes, including a first start for striker Victor Anichebe whose most notable contribution otherwise this term was his Twitter gaffe earlier in the week.

Sunderland managed the first shot on target midway through the first half with their first meaningful attack, Wahbi Khazri forcing a near-post save from Alex McCarthy with an angled drive.

Luckless Saints striker Jay Rodriguez, who has been dogged by injuries for two years, was forced off after 25 minutes having failed to shake off the effects of a nasty clash of heads with Sunderland full-back Billy Jones.

Rather than turn to in-form striker Charlie Austin, Puel threw on Olufela Olomola for a debut, but probably regretted it when the teenager blazed a good chance over before the break.

 

Making the difference

Sofiane Boufal Southampton

With the prospect of extra time beginning to loom large Boufal finally broke the deadlock with the first bit of quality of the night.

The 23-year-old controlled an up-and-under from James Ward-Prowse superbly, stepped around Jones, looked up and curled an unstoppable shot over the diving Jordan Pickford and inside the far post.

Moyes predictably sent on Jermain Defoe in a bid to salvage the tie and the four-goal striker scampered through on goal with 10 minutes left but fired his shot too close to McCarthy.

Moyes’ frustration boiled over in stoppage time when no penalty was given after Anichebe went down under Maya Yoshida’s challenge, and watched the dying moments from the stands as the Black Cats crashed out.

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