Brighton 1 Hull City 1 match report: Yannick Sagbo denies Seagulls as FA Cup reunions are put on hold

Late equaliser keeps Tigers in the hunt for quarter-final meeting with Sunderland

The amex stadium

With Sunderland awaiting the winners of this FA Cup fifth round tie on the south coast, their manager Gus Poyet and Steve Bruce of Hull City still do not know which of them will face a reunion with former employers in the quarter-final.

As two low-scoring sides produced a predictably tight contest, Bruce's team scored a late equaliser to deny Brighton victory and almost earned a passage into the last eight in added time. David Meyler had a header cleared off the line and with Hull having twice struck the bar in the first half, Bruce was able to claim that they should have avoided what will be a second game in three days following Saturday's important Premier League game at Cardiff.

“Brighton played some smashing football and we found it difficult, especially in the first half,” he said. “But once we got a goal we had two great chances to win it.”   

Poyet was manager of Brighton until leaving in acrimonious and confusing circumstances last summer, taking over on Wearside from Paolo di Canio in October. Bruce, who was in charge from 2009-11 and won 2-0 there with Hull last week, is still hoping for another meeting and home advantage this time, giving them the opportunity to match only one previous semi-final appearance, more than 80 years ago.

Meanwhile Brighton, chasing a play-off place in the Championship, have an unwanted additional game, which Poyet's successor Oscar Garcia thought they could have avoided. “First half we were the better side and second half the game was very even,” he said. “After 80 minutes we were in the quarter-final. When you concede a late goal you can be a little disappointed.” 

Hull had made nine changes in each of their previous two rounds and still managed 2-0 away victories at Middlesbrough and Southend. Here, they again had to do without the two ineligible new strikers, Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, but were able to bring back Sone Aluko, who set up the equaliser, for the first time since October and first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor after suspension.

Brighton made rather more changes and rode their luck in surviving some uncomfortable moments in defence and taking the lead with a well crafted goal after half-an-hour. The Argentinian striker Leonardo Ulloa played a deft flick to Will Buckley in the centre circle and ran onto a perfect return pass, bisecting a square pair of defenders and dinking the ball over McGregor as the goalkeeper went down.

They were fortunate just before and just after that, however, as the tie finally came to life. First, from a cross by Ahmed Elmohamady, Yannick Sagbo's volley as he fell hit the bar. A minute after the goal, Curtis Davies headed Tom Huddlestone's corner against a similar spot and when Sagbo nudged the rebound at goal, Matthew Upson was lucky that his jab landed in the arms of his goalkeeper Peter Brezovan.

Crossbar or not, the lead could easily have been doubled just before the interval, when the excellent Buckley made another threatening run down the right and crossed for the onrushing and unmarked Ulloa to head a foot wide. It was Buckley's last contribution, Solly March replacing him because of an injury presumably sustained in that incident.

With the game slipping away from Hull midway through the second half, Bruce made a bold double substitution, sending on two extra attacking players in Matty Friar, who scored both goals in the win at Southend, and George Boyd. 

There were only six minutes left when Sone Aluko crossed, the defender Lewis Dunk went to ground and Sagbo nipped in ahead of him to score. So Albion were denied a fifth successive home win by a margin of 1-0 and almost beaten too in added time when Jake Forster-Caskey headed off the line from the third substitute Meyler.

Brighton (4-2-3-1):  Brezovan; Calderon, Dunk, Upson, Chicksen;  Ince, Forster-Caskey; Buckley (March, 46), Andrews, LuaLua (Rodriguez, 89); Ulloa (Obika, 77). Substitutes not used Ankergen (gk), Saltor, Greer, Lopez.

Hull City (4-4-2): McGregor; Elmohamady, Faye (Boyd,67), Davies, Figueroa; Koren, Livermore (Meyler, 81), Huddlestone, Quinn (Fryatt,67); Aluko, Sagbo. Substitutes not used Harper (gk), Bruce, Chester, Henderson.

Referee L Probert (Wiltshire).

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen