The FA Cup - Third Round
SunderlandSunderland3CarlisleCarlisle United1

Sunderland 3-1 Carlisle United

El Hadji Ba scores for Sunderland

Debutant El Hadji Ba struck a late goal as Premier League strugglers Sunderland saw off lowly Carlisle to progress to the FA Cup fourth round.

After an even opening, winger Adam Johnson swung in an excellent first-half free-kick to put the hosts ahead.

The League One side held their own and levelled soon after when Matty Robson hammered in off the crossbar.

Sean O'Hanlon sliced into his own net after the break and Ba slid home a Jozy Altidore lay off to seal the win.

Sunderland sit bottom of the Premier League but faced opponents who were beaten 2-1 by Crewe on New Year's Day, in a result which saw Carlisle fall to 16th in the League One table.

There was no sign of the sizeable gap between them in the early stages, as boss Graham Kavanagh saw his side impress upon his return to the club he won the Championship with in 2007 as a player.

Sunderland finally showed some of their superior class when the lively Johnson played striker Altidore clean-through with a smart pass.

The United States international has struggled for goals since his £6.5m summer move and this lack of confidence was evident as his weak shot was saved by Greg Fleming.

Sunderland's superior quality finally told when Johnson curled a superb free-kick into the top corner past the half-hour mark for his third strike of the season.

Only Fulham have conceded more top-flight goals this term than Gus Poyet's side though, and the visitors got the equaliser their play deserved as the Sunderland defence failed to deal with a David Amoo cross and Robson fired in.

Carlisle offered a gift of their own at the start of the second half as the hosts went ahead in fortuitous circumstances as the hapless O'Hanlon deflected Johnson's volleyed-centre into his own goal.

Poyet then gave youngster Duncan Watmore his first-team bow, and was almost immediately rewarded with a goal as the ex-Altrincham striker forced a good stop from Fleming after a neat one-two with Altidore.

The American fluffed a pair of good late chances to get his third goal of the season, but fed the on-rushing Ba to seal a fourth-round tie against Peterborough or Kidderminster.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet said: "We are going to become a cup team. It was a professional performance today. We needed to do the job.

"It's never easy. You need to cope with a few situations and a few shots, but in the end you need to be better, so job done."

Carlisle boss Graham Kavanagh said: "It's so exciting for a club like ourselves to come to a stadium as big as this with a fan-base as big as it is.

"The romance of the cup has always been, and will always be, fantastic - I hope we don't lose that."

Check out a photo gallery from all of today's FA Cup fixtures on the BBC Sport Facebook page.external-link



Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 25Mannone
  • 8Gardner
  • 3Dossena
  • 7LarssonSubstituted forBaat 80'minutes
  • 5Brown
  • 4Ki Sung-yuengSubstituted forBardsleyat 63'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 12Celustka
  • 17Altidore
  • 27JiSubstituted forWatmoreat 63'minutes
  • 14Colback


  • 2Bardsley
  • 9Fletcher
  • 13Pickford
  • 22Ba
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 31Borini
  • 41Watmore


Formation 3-5-2

  • 20Fleming
  • 6Buaben
  • 3Robson
  • 28Ehmer
  • 23O'HanlonBooked at 29mins
  • 16Potts
  • 21Berrett
  • 8NobleSubstituted forSymingtonat 70'minutes
  • 7Amoo
  • 29GuySubstituted forMillerat 69'minutes
  • 33LawrenceSubstituted forTownsendat 83'minutes


  • 2Townsend
  • 9Miller
  • 17Beck
  • 19Symington
  • 22Brass
  • 30Meppen-Walter
  • 39Chimbonda
Neil Swarbrick

Match Stats

Home TeamSunderlandAway TeamCarlisle
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sunderland 3, Carlisle United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sunderland 3, Carlisle United 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Wes Brown (Sunderland).

  4. Post update

    Lee Miller (Carlisle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Jozy Altidore (Sunderland).

  6. Post update

    Max Ehmer (Carlisle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Sunderland 3, Carlisle United 1. El-Hadji Ba (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Sean O'Hanlon.

  9. Post update

    Wes Brown (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by David Amoo (Carlisle United).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Carlisle United. Conor Townsend replaces Tom Lawrence.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Matty Robson.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. El-Hadji Ba replaces Sebastian Larsson.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Brad Potts.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Matty Robson.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jozy Altidore (Sunderland).

  18. Post update

    Max Ehmer (Carlisle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Carlisle United. David Symington replaces Liam Noble.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Carlisle United. Lee Miller replaces Lewis Guy.