The magic of the oldest football competition in the world was in full display again on Wednesday the 16th, January, in an English Emirates FA Cup match between Premier League side, Southampton and Championship side, Derby County, it was a replay match between these 2 after the initial tie ended in an identical result and fashion, 2 all draw.
Lightning they say never strike twice, well, it does in Southampton's case, letting a 2-goal advantage slipped away twice to the same opponent in a space of 11 days is disappointing and certainly got their fans to moan and groan. Taking nothing away from Derby County's fighting spirits though, especially their composure during the spot-kicks, they are a deserved winner, and will now travel to Accrington for their 4th round tie.
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Derby County 2-2 Southampton, the initial tie.
The FA Cup 3rd round tie between Southampton also know as the Saints and Derby County, known as the Rams, was presumed to be somewhat close, as Southampton are struggling in the premier league and sits 15th on the log table, while Derby County are not particularly high flying in the Championship either, sits 6th on the log table. The match was played at Derby's home turf, the Pride Park stadium, and it started with a boom, as the Saints took an early 4th-minute lead through a Nathan Redmond's deflected strike, and went further clear with the 2nd goal, a 48th-minute strike from outside the box from once again, Nathan Redmond. However, the game was turned on its head with a quick fired double from the Rams, a goal was pulled back in the 58th minutes through Jack Marriott's 1st-time volley, after connecting well with a Tom Lawrence's flick. The provider turned the scorer of the 2nd Derby goal in the 61st minutes, a precise long-range shot from Tom Lawrence found the bottom left corner of the Saint to level matters, and could have snatched a stoppage-time winner had Jack Marriott buried the opportunity that came begging, but He fired over the bar, the Rams nevertheless forced a replay at Saint Mary, Southampton home ground.
Southampton 2-2 Derby County, the replay.
Having let a 2-goals lead slipped away in the 1st tie, the onus was with the Saint to make home ground count and drawing encouragement from their 1st half showing at the Pride Park Stadium. Unlike the 1st tie, there was no early goal but controversy, as what looked like a legitimate Derby goal was chopped off for offside by VAR. It took more than an hour before the breakthrough goal finally arrived, and it went the way of the Saints, a 68th-minute rebounded header from Stuart Armstrong, the Saint went further ahead 2 minutes later, this time through a break-away chip over on-rushing Derby goalkeeper, Kelle Roos. But just like the Rams did in the 1st tie, they staged a come-back with another 2 quick goals in space 6 minutes, a Harry Wilson free-kick evaded everybody in the box to curled into the far post to pull 1 goal back in the 76th minutes, then, a 82nd-minute header from Martyn Waghorn to level the score 2 all. Additionally 30 minutes, after the regulation time could not produce further goals, and thus, match needed to be decided by spot-kicks. The Championship side fared better in the shoot-out scoring 5 out of 5 of their kicks, while the Saints Nathan Redmond turns from hero to Villain with a missed spot-kick and then ended last season's semi-finalist run in the competition.
It seems it just wasn't meant to be for the Saint, losing 2-goals advantage twice, phew! So, to the Saint fans...
You may be sad, hurt, angry and disappointed, but you know what? put on a happy face and move on. It will hurt but you will survive - unknown
When life shuts a door...open it again. It is a door, that's how they work - unknown
Thank you all for your supports.