Match report: Black Cats exit Carabao Cup

Sunderland 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Sunderland are out of the Carabao Cup following a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the Stadium of Light on Thursday evening.

The Lads gave as good as they got against the Sky Bet Championship side, but a costly error from Alim Ozturk handed the visitors the initiative at the break.

Lynden Gooch and Josh Maja came off the bench late on as the Black Cats searched for an equaliser, but Adam Reach’s pinpoint header ended any hopes of progression.

Jack Ross’ side return to Sky Bet League One action on Sunday when Scunthorpe United travel to Wearside.   

The Sunderland manager shuffled his pack for the cup clash as Ozturk, Denver Hume and Reece James came into the line-up, as the latter returned from injury to make his first-team debut.

Lee Cattermole and Luke O’Nien came into the midfield alongside Max Power, who made his home bow, captain Honeyman and Elliot Embleton.

Chris Maguire led the line, with a tie against Wolves awaiting the victors after the second-round draw took place on Wearside ahead of kick-off.

The Lads’ first real opening came on 13 minutes as Maguire held off his man and fed the overlapping O’Nien, but Embleton was unable to connect with the midfielder’s terrific cross.

Five minutes later the England under-20 international did connect, but his wayward effort drifted well wide of the target.

Wednesday responded with an opportunity of their own, but Jon McLaughlin did well to hold Marco Matias’ low strike after former Black Cat Steven Fletcher teed up a good opening.

After being relatively untroubled at the back, the Lads gifted Wednesday an opener on the half-hour mark as hesitant defending from Ozturk opened the door.

The defender didn’t know whether to stick or twist as he attempted to hold off the pressuring Matias, and instead he did neither, allowing the forward to nip in and poke the ball beyond a helpless McLaughlin.

Ross’ side dusted themselves down and O’Nien picked up several notable positions, but the Wednesday held firm and Frederick Nielsen produced a brilliant last-ditch block on the stroke of half-time to ensure the visitors led at the break.

Sunderland mustered a volley of chances following the restart, as Honeyman’s 25-yard volley was headed clear before Ozturk sent the resulting corner wide.

But Wednesday responded and Baldwin was forced into action to clear Matias’ effort off the line, before McLaughlin was quick off the mark to deny Reach.

Gooch and Maja entered the fray with plenty of time remaining, and the duo injected fresh impetus into the Black Cats’ attacking play.

Maja, who came into the game looking for his third goal in as many games, immediately caused the Wednesday defence problems, while Gooch’s typically tenacious play saw penalty appeals waved away after his cross clearly struck an arm.

But the visitors secured their place in the second round with just over ten minutes remaining, as Reach’s glancing header crashed in via the post.

Attendance: 13, 890

Sunderland: McLaughlin, James (Molyneux 78), Hume, Ozturk, Baldwin, Cattermole (Maja 66), Power, Honeyman, O’Nien, Embleton (Gooch 62), Maguire.
Subs not used: Ruiter, Mumba, Taylor.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, van Aken (Penney 63), Fletcher, Lees, Bannan (Lee 85), Matias, Reach, Boyd, Hunt (Kirby 45), Nielsen.
Subs not used:
Dawson, Jones, Nuhiu, O’Grady.

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