Tim Howard saves two penalties as Everton reach TheFA cup FinalApril 20, 2009
Everton win 4-2 on kicks from the penalty mark
The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON
4pm, Sunday 19 April 2009
Winning clubs will receive £1,000,000 from The FA
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Everton ‘keeper Tim Howard saved two shootout penalties against his former club at Wembley to put the Toffeemen back in The FA Cup Final for the first time in 14 years.
Howard, who was once a penalty hero for Manchester United in the 2003 FA Community Shield, denied Dimitar Berbatov and Rio Ferdinand, before Phil Jagielka stepped up to send the Everton fans wild with delight.
After 120 minutes of football, neither side could find a way through, and when Tim Cahill missed the first kick from the spot, United’s fans may have been thinking of a trip to Wembley again in May.
But Howard responded for Everton as they got their noses in front to record a memorable victory.
Bright sunshine had earlier welcomed the teams into a warm Wembley filled half with blue and half red.
While David Moyes had made just one change to his last starting line-up a week earlier at Aston Villa, with Louis Saha making his first start in a month in place of the Cup-tied Jo, United were a lot different to the side the beat Porto in midweek, as Sir Alex Ferguson made eight changes. There was also no place in the squad for ex-Evertonian Wayne Rooney, either.
But despite the new-look, United came the closest to opening the scoring during a lively first half.
After former United man Louis Saha chased down a backpass towards Ben Foster, almost leaving the ‘keeper red-faced, Rafael Da Silva delivered an inviting cross from the right towards Danny Welbeck. The England Under-21 striker flicked goalwards with a right foot volley, and the ball ricocheted off the foot of Joleon Lescott, narrowly missing Tim Howard’s post.
Federico Macheda and Carlos Tevez also had sights at goal but both failed to trouble Howard.
Everton had their opportunities too, and looked eager to make a their long-awaited return to The FA Cup Final.
South Africa winger Steven Pienaar was looking to exploit down the left hand side, while Marouane Fellaini was giving Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic something to think about.
And it was the Belgian who provided former Red Phil Neville an opportunity just inside the United box. But across came Fabio Da Silva to force Neville to shoot over.
Rafael then fouled Leighton Baines on the edge of the area out on the left flank. Pienaar whipped in a testing cross, but the United defence were firm, directing the ball out for a corner.
The noise of the record Semi-Final crowd lifted after the break, with the blue half willing Everton forward, and it almost had the desired effect. Tim Cahill found space thirty yards out and unleashed a low, dipping drive that was heading towards the back of the net. But Foster, at full-stretch, pulled off a fine save to deny the Australian.
At the other end, Ji-Sung Park came was unlucky to see his shot just miss the target. After a move that stretched Everton, the Korean cut into the box from the right, before shooting with his left. Although he failed to get a perfect connection, his effort beat Howard, but drifted wide.
Darron Gibson’s 25-yarder was on target, however. Though the American stopper could only push the powerful strike out for a corner.
United were getting forward more now, as Patrice Evra and Paul Scholes were brought into play. In front of the United supporters Welbeck found space inside the area and looked to take the ball around Howard, but hit the turf under a challenge from Jagielka. But while the fans screamed for a penalty, referee Mike Riley said no.
Anderson, without a goal for United since his move from Porto in 2007, had another go after carrying the ball into a good position for the shot, but it was into the side netting.
Into extra-time, and Sir Alex played his final substitute card, bringing on Dimitar Berbatov in place of Macheda. But it was Everton who had the next chance when Cahill controlled a free-kick into the United area, turning his marker before firing low towards the far corner of Foster’s net. The England man was equal to it, clearing with a boot.
Substitute James Vaughan, making his first Everton appearance since November following injury, had a great chance laid on by Baines early in the second period of extra-time. But his left foot strike from 15 yards was deflected wide.
120 minutes couldn’t separate the teams, so it was left to penalties and in front of the United following Howard was the hero, saving two against his former club, as Jagielka’s kick sent Everton back to The Final.
12 Ben Foster, 5 Rio Ferdinand (c), 8 Anderson, 13 Ji-Sung Park, 15 Nemanja Vidic, 19 Danny Welbeck, 20 Fabio Da Silva, 21 Rafael Da Silva, 28 Darron Gibson, 32 Carlos Tevez, 41 Federico Macheda
Subs 2 Gary Neville, 3 Patrice Evra, Dimitar Berbatov, 17 Nani, 18 Paul Scholes, 23 Jonny Evans, 29 Tomasz Kuszczak
24 Tim Howard, 2 Tony Hibbert, 3 Leighton Baines, 5 Joleon Lescott, 6 Phil Jagielka, 9 Louis Saha, 17 Tim Cahill, 18 Phil Neville (c), 20 Steven Pienaar, 21 Leon Osman, 25 Marouane Fellaini
Subs 1 Carlo Nash, 4 Joseph Yobo, 8 Segundo Castillo, 14 James Vaughan, 15 Lars Jacobsen, 26 Jack Rodwell, 32 Dan Gosling