Man United into League Cup final despite 2-1 loss to Hull
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 27, 2017 09:42 AM
Manchester United's Paul Pogba, centre, scores during the English League Cup, Semi Final Second Leg soccer match between Hull City and Manchester United at KCOM stadium in Hull, England, Thursday Jan. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)HULL, England (AP) — Manchester United reached the English League Cup final despite surrendering its 17-match unbeaten record with a 2-1 loss to Hull in the second leg of their semifinal on Thursday.
United, which won the first leg 2-0, advanced with a 3-2 win on aggregate and will play Southampton in the final at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 26.
On-loan striker Oumar Niasse scored the winner with an 85th-minute tap-in, and another goal for Hull would have sent the game into extra time.
Tom Huddlestone gave the hosts the lead at KCOM Stadium by converting a 35th-minute penalty, awarded for Marcos Rojo's tug on Harry Maguire at a corner. Paul Pogba equalized from close range in the 66th, a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing display by the France midfielder.
Pogba was not alone in that respect, though. United produced one of its most sluggish performances of the season, perhaps through complacency because of its commanding lead from the first leg.
In the end, Marouane Fellaini's late goal at Old Trafford, which sealed the 2-0 win, was pivotal.
"We're disappointed the way we played," United midfielder Michael Carrick said. "It's a strange feeling, we wanted to keep our run going."
United will look to win a fifth League Cup title and a first trophy under Jose Mourinho, who has won all three of his League Cup finals as a coach.
Southampton's only major trophy came in 1976, with a win over United in the FA Cup final.
It was United's first loss since a 2-1 defeat at Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Nov. 3, and a first defeat to Hull since 1974 — a run of 14 games.
"Good performance, good spirit, good attitude," said Hull manager Marco Silva, who has injected some self-belief and organization into an injury-hit team since being hired on Jan. 5. "Maybe the last goal at Old Trafford in the last minutes made the difference."
It was Hull's first match since midfielder Ryan Mason suffered a fractured skull after a clash of heads during a Premier League game against Chelsea.
Mason wears the No. 25 jersey and there was applause around the stadium in the 25th minute. Hull's players also warmed up for the game wearing jerseys with "Mason 25" on the back.
Hull has said that Mason is making "excellent progress" in his recovery after undergoing surgery.