Swansea reached their first FA Cup quarter-final since 1964 with a 2-0 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday. Jordan Ayew, on as a half-time substitute, scored the opener before Nathan Dyer settled matters 10 minutes from time.
Dyer raced on to Tammy Abraham’s pass to slot his shot between the legs of Owls goalkeeper Cameron Dawson and ensure Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal would taste victory against the club he left in December.
Those second-half goals saw Swansea through on a night when the temperature dial had fallen below zero at kick-off. The so-called ‘Beast from the East’ might have brought a chill air to south Wales, but this fifth-round replay often struggled to warm the sparse crowd.
There will undoubtedly be more present when Swansea host either Tottenham or Rochdale in the quarter-final next month, with those teams replaying at Wembley on Wednesday night.
And it will stir long memories of the previous time Swansea graced the last eight of the FA Cup, Bill Shankly’s Liverpool humbled 2-1 at Anfield before Preston inflicted semi-final pain.
Swansea controlled the tempo of the game in the first half, enjoying two thirds of the possession but creating little of note. Abraham saw his header deflected over, but it was Wednesday who fashioned the better chances after a drab opening quarter.
Twice the Swansea goal was threatened in a matter of seconds with Kristoffer Nordfeldt pushing away Jacob Butterfield’s well-struck shot from 18 yards. The Swedish goalkeeper also had to react quickly as Lucas Joao sent the loose ball back into the six-yard box, with Jordan Rhodes close to a telling touch.
Nordfeldt then held Joao’s effort after the Portuguese switched the ball back on to his left-foot with Wednesday sensing a breakthrough and an upset.
Swansea responded with wayward attempts from Sam Clucas and Abraham, and Carvalhal blinked at half-time with Martin Olsson and Ayew replacing Ki Sung-yueng and Wayne Routledge.
Carvalhal’s call paid off 10 minutes after the re-start as Carroll strode forward with purpose, striking both posts with a rasping effort, before Ayew dispatched the rebound for his ninth goal of the season.
Rhodes had the opportunity to get Wednesday back on level terms when he lined up a free-kick from 25 yards. But the striker’s shot was comfortably collected by Nordfeldt and Wednesday would not come as close again.
Abraham had endured a frustrating evening as his hold-up play was not of the standard of a striker harbouring World Cup ambitions with England this summer.
But he played a decisive role in Dyer’s decider as Swansea removed the last representative of the Sky Bet Championship from the competition. Ayew almost added a third as Dawson held his low drive, but Swansea’s passage was secured by then.
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