Ball leads Black Cats to Capital One Cup win.Sunderland were faced with a difficult proposition in the third round of the Capital One Cup against in-form Peterborough.
An early chance for Posh excited the 500 travelling fans. Tyrone Barnett received the ball on the left wing and, after some good work, found Danny Swanson. However, the long range shot was comfortably saved by Westwood.
Sunderland responded with three good chances of their own, the first falling to Jozy Altidore. Giaccherini, who was playing just behind the American, slipped Altidore in and, at an angle; the frontman took a shot which was well blocked by Olejnik.
Craig Gardner then could have scored an unlikely goal from Seb Larsson’s in swinging kick. The ball sprung around in the box as the Posh failed to get the ball clear. Eventually, Gardner got his opportunity but could not guide his close range header on target.
Italian Giaccherini then had two good chances to score. Minutes before his 32nd minute strike, the ex-Juventus man lifted Jack Colback’s cross over the bar. However, from a smiliar cross, this time delivered by Lee Cattermole, Giaccherini made no such mistake, poking the ball into the roof of the net in front of the 17,500 Red & White fans.
The final chance of the opening half again fell to Altidore. This time, Altidore received the ball 25 yards out and detonated a powerful strike. With the ‘keeper beaten, the ball struck of the base of the post and the attacker was unlucky to score his second cup goal of the season.
The second half began with another good chance as Ki, Giaccherini and Altidore all failed to get a clear cut opportunity as a scramble took place in the box. Despite the crowd, Johnson found some space on the right and cut inside. His shot curled just wide of the post and the England international was inches away from scoring another fantastic League Cup goal.
Darren Ferguson’s team then gave Sunderland a warning sign after Westwood parried Assombalonga’s shot, again from long range.
On 72 minutes, Kevin Ball’s side doubled their advantage over their League One opposition. A left wing corner went all the way across to the right flank where Johnson was waiting. The winger’s quality ball was met by the head of Valentin Roberge, who scored his first goal on Wearside with a powerful header into the bottom corner.
Seb Larsson could have put some gloss on the score line late on. Some good work on the left ended with Altidore crossing the ball into the box. The Swede, however, could not divert his strike into any of the corner and instead hit a weak shot that trickled towards the ‘keeper.
Sunderland team: Keiren Westwood, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, Carlos Cuellar, John O’Shea (Valentin Roberge), Seb Larsson, Lee Cattermole, Ki, Emanuele Giaccherini (Fabio Borini), Adam Johnson and Jozy Altidore (Connor Wickham).
Subs not used: Cabral, Elhadji Ba, Vito Mannone and Charis Mavrias.
Peterborough team: Robert Olejnik, Gabriel Zakuani, Michael Bostwick, Craig Alcock, Kgosi Nthe, Danny Swanson, Jack Payne (Nathaniel Mendez-Laing), Lee Tomlin (Joe Newell), Tommy Rowe (Grant McCann), Britt Assombalonga and Tyrone Barnett.
Subs not used: Kane Ferdinand, Shaun Brisley, Jaanai Gordon and Joe Day.