Swansea City showed great spirit to come back from a goal down to cause an upset in the Carling Cup second round, knocking out Premiership new boys Hull City with a 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium.
It was the first time since 1982 that we’ve reached the 3rd round of the League cup, and it was thanks to goals from substitute Gorka Pintado and Jordi Gomez.
It was a poor performance in the first half from the Swans, we struggled to link our passes together in midfield and our defence gave Hull City an easy chance to go 1-0 up, Dean Windass slotted the ball home inside the area after a clever dummy run from Folan.
Pintado’s arrival on the pitch early in the second half sparked some urgency in our attacking play, and yet again it didn’t take him long to make an impact. Jordi Gomez delivered the cross, and ‘El Torro’ was there to nod home at the far post.
We then went on to miss a spot kick in the final minute of normal play, but thankfully Gomez made no mistake with our second to win us the game in extra time.
Both sides rung the changes for the game, as both teams wanted to keep most of their first team fit for their vital League campaigns. There was no return for former Swan Sam Ricketts, he stayed at home while Martinez made 8 changes, 2 less than he did for the first round win against Brentford.
Shaun MacDonald, Andrea Orlandi, Jordi Gomez and Guillem Bauza were all given starts again while there was a surprise place for Joe Allen in midfield. Garry Monk was one of the few first teamers in the starting 11, along with Dorus De Vries and Marcos Painter.
From kick off, we looked like a side that had never ever played with one another before. We lacked an understanding and as a result we played a lot of stray passes in the midfield. Hull City meanwhile were rather slick in possession you could tell they were a Premiership outfit.
That slick play paid off after just 11 minutes as the Tigers netted the opening goal. Barmby played a diagonal ball in towards Folan, the striker made an excellent dummy run and left it for Windass, he made a good turn inside the box before slotting the ball home easily into the bottom left corner.
From that point on, you had the feeling Brown`s side could go on and win the game comfortably as we struggled to create anything in front of the goal. Bauza couldn`t get involved, Allen looked out of his depth but the Spanish duo Gomez and Orlandi were showing some neat touches.
Martinez`s side did well to hang on and go in and just 1-0, the game was far from over as the second half proved.
We came out looking like a different side, dominated most of the game and showed a lot more urgency and pace in our game.
MacDonald was showing excellent effort and determination in midfield and he had a few half decent chances on goal but they didn`t cause any threat to the keeper.
Martinez`s double change 10 minutes into the second period sparked even more life in our game. The poor Matty Collins made way for Angel Rangel and Joe Allen was replaced by Gorka Pintado
Shortly after ‘El Torro`s` arrival, the Spaniard nearly set up Bauza for the equalising goal. The ball fell to Pintado in space out wide, he made his way towards goal and despite having a good chance to shoot, he cut it back to Bauza but he blazed a shot over.
We continued to attack with pace and Pintado was causing problems whenever he had the ball. He nearly headed home Andrea Orlandi`s corner but the Tigers` keeper made a good save to palm it behind for another set piece.
He went close again, doing well to beat a man before unleashing a powerful low shot on goal, it beat the keeper but came back off the post.
It wasn`t quite all Swansea though, Hull City were still getting forward and Dorus De Vries was called into making a decent save, diving down to his right to deny Ryan France.
Our attacking play finally paid off as PIntado nodded home to equalise. We were awarded a free kick not far inside Hull`s half, MacDonald and Rangel did a quick one-two before giving it to Gomez, he picked out Gorka who headed past the keeper at the far post.
It was nothing short of what we deserved and now the home crowd was confident of us getting another. The atmosphere finally increased as the fans were thoroughly enjoying our performance.
Orlandi then did well with about 15 minutes, he linked up well with Painter on the left flank before firing a low shot across the face of goal, no one could make contact with the shot-come-cross as the ball went out for a throw-in.
Our third sub was then used with 10 minutes to go as Bauza left the field in place of fellow striker Febian Brandy. He seems to have improved since last season, and had a decent game alongside Pintado. The Manchester United loanee then won us a late penalty after an obvious foul in the box. He made his way in towards the area from the right, and as he flashed past a defender, he stuck out a leg rather needlessly to bring him down in the box.
Up stepped Pintado, the majority of us in the Stadium were confident he`d convert from the post but he tried placing it with the outside of his foot, and the goalkeeper made a straight forward save, diving to his left. It was a similar penalty to Bodde`s miss against Nottingham Forest.
With the scores level after 90 minutes, the Swansea fans were handed an extra 30 minutes of excellent football from Martinez`s side.
Hull tried to get back in the game more and threatened on a few occasions early but the Swans soon took over again. We looked the more dangerous on the attack and our efforts paid off yet again, as the ref handed us another penalty. Pintado stepped aside after his miss, instead Gomez took over and he send the keeper the wrong way to give us the lead.
The Tigers never gave up and we had to defend out the remaining 5-10 minutes as they tried to get a goal to bring a penalty shoot out. They should have made it 2-2 but somehow Folan headed well over the bar from just a few yards out.
The referee then blew his whistle much to the delight of the home fans, as we progress through to the third round for the first time 26 years! We now look forward to Saturday`s third round draw which will be shown on Sky Sports.
Photos and ratings to follow.
De Vries – 6
Poor distribution, got our defenders into some difficulties with his throws as well. Luckily made no costly mistakes.
Collins – 5
Struggled in the first half as did most of our players. Couldn’t get forward and was given a tough time on Hull’s left flank.
Serran – 6
Didn’t stand out but was solid enough.
Monk – 6
I think it was Monk who let Windass turn him inside the box before slotting home the opening goal.
Painter – 7
Solid for most of the game but is rather one-dimensional in his play sometimes. Can’t pick out a decent long range pass like MacDonald can and his long balls up the wing always lost us possession. Harsh maybe as he had a decent game overall.
Orlandi – 8
Looked excellent, has a good touch and got some good crosses into the box.
Allen – 4
Struggled throughout the first half and doesn’t look ready yet.
Tudur-Jones – 5
Was hoping for better from Tudur-Jones. He was playing an important defensive role but didn’t play it brilliantly. He picked up the loose balls well at times but offered little else.
Gomez – 7
Showed some nice touches like Orlandi and improved a lot in the second half.
MacDonald – 8
Superb effort from MacDonald, quite a quiet first half but caused a lot of problems in the second half. Had a great run in the second half from our own half, but left it too late with the shot on goal.
Bauza – 5
Struggled for most of the game, especially in the first half but Pintado gave us what we needed up front when he came on.