For only the second time in 110 years, Hull City will play at Wembley after dispatching Sunderland in style to reach the FA Cup with Budweiser Semi-Finals.
Three goals in nine fantastic second half minutes saw the Tigers through to a date with Sheffield United at the national stadium next month as Steve Bruce’s side dominated from start to finish at the KC.
Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt were the men who got the goals, meaning Sone Aluko’s missed first half penalty proved academic on a memorable afternoon at the home of the Tigers.
Fryatt and Aluko represented two of four changes to the Tigers’ line-up as Yannick Sagbo and James Chester also came into the starting eleven. Alex Bruce, Jake Livermore, Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long made way.
City dominated from the off and almost got a lucky break in the fourth minute when Maynor Figueroa’s cross drifted over the head of Sunderland goalkeeper Oscar Ustari before rebounding back off the crossbar.
That was the closest either side came to scoring in the opening quarter, although the Tigers always looked the most likely with Fryatt’s diving header from a superb Ahmed Elmohamady cross flashing just wide.
An exchange of yellow cards saw Tom Huddlestone and Lee Cattermole go into the referee’s notebook, and the official was at the heart of the action again ten minutes before the break when Aluko went down inside the box after being tripped by Seb Larsson. The referee pointed to the spot and Aluko picked himself up to take the kick himself, but Ustari guessed right, diving to his right to keep out the striker’s low effort.
That spurned opportunity only seemed to drive the Tigers on and Liam Rosenior was unlucky to see his low, drilled effort from 25 yards turned away by Ustari.
Half Time: Hull City 0-0 Sunderland
The second half continued in much the same way with City pushing on and nullifying Sunderland as an attacking threat.
Huddlestone and Aluko were both off target in the opening moments before Steve Bruce introduced George Boyd and Robert Koren for Sagbo and Aluko.
The floodgates eventually opened in the 68th minute. Great work from Fryatt won his side a free kick by the right corner flag and when Huddlestone delivered beyond the far post, Davies rose to send a looping header back over goalkeeper Ustari and into the far corner of the net.
Just four minutes later, the lead was doubled. Davies headed a Sunderland corner well out of the Tigers’ box before Boyd did well to send the ball forward from midway inside his own half. Cattermole looked favourite to collect on halfway, but Meyler bore down on him and managed to nick the ball, sending himself through on goal. After advancing into the Sunderland box, he took his time, drawing Ustari off his line before calmly slotting the ball past him and into the net.
If that wasn’t enough, the gloss was added in the 77th minute. A poor backpass from Cattermole gifted Fryatt possession on the edge of the Sunderland box and he produced a stylish striker’s finish to make it 3-0.
Sunderland looked shell-shocked but the East, West and South sides of the KC were now in full-on party mode.
Meyler went close to adding a fourth with a 20-yard drive that flew over the bar, but the hard work had been done and the final whistle brought celebrations on the field and in the stands.
Hull City: Allan McGregor, Liam Rosenior, James Chester, Curtis Davies, Maynor Figueroa, Ahmed Elmohamady (Stephen Quinn 81), David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone, Yannick Sagbo (George Boyd 58), Sone Aluko (Robert Koren 67), Matty Fryatt.
Subs Not Used: Steve Harper, Alex Bruce, Abdoulaye Faye, Conor Henderson, Stephen Quinn.
Sunderland: Oscar Ustari, Phil Bardsley, Andrea Dossena, John O'Shea, Santiago Vergini, Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Seb Larsson, Emanuale Giaccherini (Adam Johnson 67), Steven Fletcher, Ignacio Scocco (Fabio Borini 67).
Subs Not Used: Vito Mannone, Ki Sung-Yueng, Carlos Cuellar, Ondrej Celustka, Liam Bridcutt.
Referee: Mr C. Pawson.