Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland exited the Carabao Cup at the first round stage on Wednesday night, losing out 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Dennis Adeniran’s wonder-strike in the first half was compounded after the break as Sylla Sow converted his cross, with the Owls advancing to round two as 1,005 Sunderland fans made the trip.
Alex Neil made wholesale changes for the tie in South Yorkshire, as the entire starting XI from the weekend league win at Bristol City made way for fellow squad members to earn minutes.
Alex Bass made his Black Cats debut in goal, as Bailey Wright captained the side. Trai Hume, Carl Winchester and Aji Alese were all drafted in, as youngster Harrison Sohna was handed a start on the left.
Luke O’Nien and Jay Matete completed the middle of the park, as Jack Diamond led the line – Patrick Roberts and Elliot Embleton in support.
The opening quarter of an hour was wanting of any major chances, but Wednesday did take the lead in stunning style 16 minutes in, as Adeniran shuffled the ball onto his left foot and let fly with an unstoppable hit into the top corner from outside the area.
Diamond looked the liveliest of the Sunderland players during the course of the first half and dragged a shot just wide after meeting Matete’s ball with a clever run.
Headers at either end from Ben Heneghan and O’Nien completed anything close to goalmouth action for the remainder of the first half.
The second half began with more of a spring, Hume doing well to advance down the right-hand side and fizz the ball across the 18-yard box, the incoming Sohna just unable to connect with the delivery.
And Wednesday were to take full advantage five minutes later, as Adeniran picked up a loose clearance from Bass and found Sow with a pinpoint cross, the striker converting to double the lead.
The final half-hour saw a distinct lack of chances at either end in a low-tempo ending to the encounter, though a bright spark for the Academy setup would see a competitive Sunderland debut for 19-year-old Michael Spellman in the final 10 minutes.
Caden Kelly, 18, entered the fray for the last six minutes of the tie in his second senior appearance for the club.
The remainder of the game would most notably witness the occasional strong challenge and both sides making forays forward, but it petered out to a 2-0 defeat and now Neil’s men will turn focus straight back to Championship action, with QPR coming to Wearside this Saturday.
SUNDERLAND AFC: Bass, Winchester, Wright ©, Alese, Hume, O’Nien, Matete, Sohna, Embleton (Spellman 80’), Roberts (Kelly 84’), Diamond.
Subs not used: Patterson, Cirkin, Batth, Simms, Gooch, Clarke, Neil.
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Iorfa, Heneghan (Ihiekwe 46’), James (Johnson 81’), Palmer, Byers, Bakinson, Adeniran (Hunt 81’), Brown, Paterson (Cook 71’), Gregory (Sow 44’).
Subs not used: Stockdale, Vaulks, Bannan, Dele-Bashiru.