Yakubu Fires Blank In FA Cup Semi
FORMER Super Eagles striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, and his teammates at English Championship side, Reading, will have to fight another day, as the club fired blank Saturday against Bradford City in their FA Cup semi-finals.
The result means that both Bradford and Reading must meet again for a place in the semi-finals after playing out a tense and scrappy goalless draw at Valley Parade yesterday. Yakubu came into the game in the 80th minutes and made some charges in the opponent’s goal area, but his effort was not enough for Reading to carry the day.
Both sides hit the post but it was a game of few clear chances on a testing and uneven surface.
Pavel Pogrebnyak saw his effort strike the woodwork for the visitors, while Bradford’s Gary Liddle was denied by the frame from a speculative shot.
The replay at Madejski Stadium is scheduled for Monday, 16 March.
Bradford came into the tie having knocked out Premier League Chelsea and Sunderland en route to the last eight and named the same starting line-up that beat the Black Cats 2-0 in the fifth round.
Reading had beaten three Championship sides on their way to the quarter-finals and made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 against Bolton on Tuesday.
In front of a capacity crowd the hosts from League One put in some determined tackles on their Championship opponents as they sought to press in the early stages, although a weak header from James Hanson was their only chance in the opening 15 minutes.
It fell to the Royals to create the first clear opening when Russian striker Pogrebnyak struck a post with a right-footed shot after latching on to Jamie Mackie’s cross.
Bradford hit the woodwork themselves when midfielder Liddle’s speculative cross almost crept past the stranded Adam Federici.
Bradford had the better of what chances there were in a second half that proved more listless than the first.
Felipe Morais found space moments after the restart but chose to square the ball across goal rather than shoot, while Hanson’s side-footed effort flashed agonisingly wide and Andrew Davies headed just over the bar.
Reading almost snatched a late winner when Oliver Norwood floated a free-kick into the box, but a combination of the post and some desperate defending kept the ball from crossing the line with Pogrebnyak loitering.
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