Resolute Fulham secure FA Cup replay

Sunderland 0 Fulham 0

Fulham earned a fourth-round FA Cup replay with a dogged defensive performance despite fielding a weakened side.

Sunderland had the better of things but struggled to create chances and, after Jack Rodwell was sent off, Fulham substitute Hugo Rodallega almost won it late on when his shot hit the post.

The Whites left 10-goal Ross McCormack and fellow strike partner Rodallega on the bench, two of four changes from the side that beat Nottingham Forest in the Championship in midweek, and rarely threatened to find the net.

But they defended with a combination of quality and spirit and, after a slow start, almost went ahead when Cauley Woodrow saw a weak effort go wide.

The Black Cats, who had only won twice in 13 home games, were themselves denied the lead when Seb Larsson’s shot was kept out by the legs of keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Jermain Defoe then had three chances to put the hosts ahead after the interval, shooting off target with one opportunity and forcing superb saves from Bettinelli with another two strikes on goal.

Seko Fofana had Fulham’s best opening, but failed to hit the target with a shot from the left-hand side.

With Sunderland on top and threatening, Rodwell saw red for a second caution when he prevented Bettinelli releasing the ball.

However, although Rodallega hit the post with a fine strike, Fulham were unable to take advantage in the last quarter but will get another chance having secured a well-earned replay against the Premier League strugglers.

Fulham(4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Grimmer, Hutchinson, Bodurov, Stafylidis; Tunnicliffe; Fofana (Kacaniklic 75), Christensen; Ruiz; Woodrow (Rodallega 76), Dembélé (McCormack 61).
Subs not used: Kiraly, Zverotic, Roberts, Burn.

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