Match Report: Fulham 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland held Premier League side Fulham to an entertaining 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in the Emirates FA Cup.

Jack Clarke's quick thinking give the Black Cats a deserved lead inside the first ten minutes, but Tom Cairney pulled the hosts level midway through the second half.

Sunderland took an early lead through Clarke, the winger forcing Issa Diop into a mistake before coolly slotting the ball under Marek Rodak to open the scoring inside the first six minutes.

Fulham almost levelled the tie within a matter of seconds, Tosin Adarabioyo had a glorious opportunity but his header from Andreas Pereira’s corner comfortably cleared Anthony Patterson's crossbar.

The visitors lost talisman Ross Stewart to injury early on but continued to cause Marco Silva’s defence problems, Amad the next to force Rodak into a save.

The hosts came close to equalising through Laywin Kurzawa after being left unmarked centre of goal, his header rolling just wide of Patterson’s far post.

Sunderland should have doubled their advantage just before half time, Patrick Roberts skipped past his man before rolling the ball to Amad, his effort rippling Rodak’s side netting.

Tony Mowbray’s side had Dan Ballard to thank for keeping his team in front, the defender clearing Pereira’s volley from inside the area off the line.

Amad, who caused Fulham issues throughout the first half was denied by Rodak again on the stroke of half time.

Edouard Michut created space on the 18-yard box, but the Fulham goalkeeper was out quickly to palm his  shot around his post for a corner. 

In a pulsating start to the second half Sunderland carved open the first chance, Addoullah Ba was found unmarked back post, but his shot was off target.

Anthony Patterson was called into action seconds later, getting a strong hand to push Harry Wilson’s curling attempt from the right, away from danger.

Amad was among the thick of the action again, forcing Rodak into a neat save from close range. Fulham immediately switched defence into attack, but Patterson was alert to deny Wilson.

Roberts was next to have a go, picking the ball up inside his own half before driving forward, his curling effort from 20 yards out coming close to increasing his team’s lead.

Fulham equalised on the hour mark, captain Tom Cairney jinking past two defenders before firing his shot low and hard into Patterson’s bottom corner.

The hosts came close to taking the lead when substitute Aleksander Mitrovic was fouled just outside the area. The resulting free kick from Willian forced Patterson into another full stretch save.

The visitors almost silenced Craven Cottage, Roberts, Pierre Ekwah and Dan Neil all having shots blocked as the home team desperately defended their goal.

Sunderland thought they had won the tie in added time, 15-year-old Chris Rigg finding the back of the net, but the linesman had already flagged for offside.

In an end-to-end game, neither team were able to find the decisive match-winning goal, a replay will now take place at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland XI: Patterson, Hume, Ballard, Batth ©, Alese (Huggins 46’), Roberts (Rigg 85’), Neil, Michut (Ekwah 76’), Clarke (Bennette 76’), Amad, Stewart (Ba 20’)

Subs not used: Kelly, Johnson, Watson, Bass.

Goalscorer: Clarke 6’

Fulham XI: Rodak, Tete, Tosin, Diop, Kurzawa, Cairney © (Reid 77’), Palhinha (Reed 77’), Andreas, Wilson (Willian 68’), Vinicius (Mitrovic 63’), Solomon.

Subs not used: Leno, Ream, Duffy, James, Harris.

Goalscorer: Cairney 60’

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