Obinna gives Hammers deserved Cup win

Sunderland 1 West Ham United 2

Nigeria international Victor Obinna dashed Sunderland's Carling Cup dreams as West Ham tasted victory against Barclays Premier League opposition for the first time this season.

The 23-year-old struck 14 minutes after the break to send the Hammers into the fourth round courtesy of a deserved win at the Stadium of Light.

They took the lead with 35 minutes gone when Frederic Piquionne rounded Simon Mignolet to fire home.

The Black Cats were indebted to their Belgian goalkeeper when, having already denied both Obinna and Piquionne in quick succession, he kept out Scott Parker's effort from point-blank range.

Club record signing Asamoah Gyan briefly restored order with a 41st-minute header, his second goal in his first start for the club following a £13million-plus move from Rennes.

However, the Wearsiders were a shadow of the outfit which took a point from Arsenal at the weekend and they surrendered tamely in front of a disgruntled crowd of 21,907.

The Hammers, for whom skipper Parker was outstanding, will hope to repeat the feat at home to Tottenham on Saturday as they attempt to claim their first three-point haul of the campaign, while Sunderland head for Liverpool having seen an opportunity pass them by.

Ever since arriving at the Stadium of Light during the summer of last year, Steve Bruce has voiced the opinion that the club, while unlikely to win the Premier League title, is more than capable of lifting one of the domestic trophies.

For that reason, the Carling Cup is a priority, and he went into tonight's tie insisting there was no reason the Black Cats could not make the latter stages of this season's competition.

In truth, they could have been out of it by half-time after a lukewarm opening 45 minutes during which the Hammers might have tied up victory.

Despite making seven changes to the side which claimed a first league point of the campaign at Stoke on Saturday, the visitors started brightly with Piquionne and Obinna causing problems, although initially without troubling Mignolet.

Sunderland, with nine of the men who were selected for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal retained and £13million-plus man Gyan added, initially struggled to get going.

However, they might have been in front with 15 minutes gone had Darren Bent not marginally overhit his cross to the unmarked Gyan, who just failed to reach it.

Nedum Onuoha, as he had done against the Gunners, headed a Jordan Henderson corner just over, and the home side were belatedly building a momentum.

But the Londoners were not content to soak up pressure and would have been ahead on the half-hour had Mignolet not palmed away Obinna's curling shot and then recovered well to claim Piquionne's follow-up.

The opening goal came 10 minutes before half-time, and it was the Belgian who had to pick the ball out of his net after Piquionne accepted Obinna's pass and calmly rounded him to score.

Mignolet was exposed once again two minutes later when Parker exchanged passes with Pablo Barrera and stabbed the ball towards the bottom corner, only for the goalkeeper to throw out a hand to turn away his effort.

But Sunderland responded with four minutes of the half remaining when Gyan glanced home another Henderson corner to spare his side a tongue-lashing at the break.

The might have gone behind once again within seconds of the restart when Barrera's shot took a wicked deflection off Cristian Riveros and dropped just wide of the post with Mignolet completely wrong-footed, although he was perhaps due a slice of good fortune after being beaten by Cesc Fabregas' outrageous fluke at the weekend.

Gyan fired wastefully over after being picked out by full-back Phil Bardsley following an enterprising run down the right four minutes later, but Barrera's 55th-minute chip was close enough to send Mignolet scurrying anxiously back towards his line before it dropped over.

But there was nothing he nor anyone else to do to keep Grant's men out four minutes later.

The impressive Parker combined with Barrera once again and when he slid a pass into the Mexican's run, he squared for Obinna to thump a low drive past the keeper and just inside the post.

Bruce immediately replaced the tiring Gyan with Steed Malbranque, who forced a vital save from keeper Marek Stech with six minutes remaining, and Mignolet had to deny substitute Carlton Cole deep into injury time as hopes of another late, late rescue act faded.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own