Cork City 1
(aet, Waterford win 5-3 on penalties)
By Denis Hurley
Sub Ismahil Akinade scored the winning penalty as Waterford advanced to the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup with victory over Cork City at the RSC on Monday night.
Having taken the lead in the ninth minute of injury time though Courtney Duffus, the Blues found themselves pegged back when City’s Josh O’Hanlon levelled midway through the second period, necessitating penalties.
Duffus converted the first for the Blues and they gained an advantage when Niall Corbett saved from Graham Cummins. With the rest of the spot-kicks netted, it fell to Akinade to secure the home side’s passage to a last-eight tie away to Sligo Rovers.
City made the early running with Kieran Sadlier having two chances, shooting over from close range with the latter after Michael Howard’s good cross from the right.
Most of the rest of the half belonged to Waterford in terms of possession and territory, though for the most part stout City defending limited them to efforts from outside the penalty area by Bastien Héry – back after suspension – Dean Wash and Sander Puri, who found his effort blocked by Aaron Barry.
Just before half-time came the first clear-cut chance as Dean O’Halloran played in his strike-partner Dean Walsh but Peter Cherrie did well to save his shot with his legs and ensured that the loose ball was claimed.
Puri had two more Waterford efforts in the second period’s nascent stages, Cherrie savingadn Barry blocking again respectively. At the other end, Jimmy Keohane found Sadlier with a crossfield ball and the winger fizzed a low cross into the area but the ball eluded everybody; then a Sadlier free kick from deep couldn’t be diverted in by Danny Kane.
As the end of normal time neared, Gavan Holohan and Puri (twice) drew saves from Cherrie and the game went to extra time. Waterford looked to have it won when Duffus sent Akinade’s cross to the net, but though they were pegged back, they finished the job in the shootout.
WATERFORD: Corbet; Barnett, Feely, Comerford, Daly; Kasmi (Martin 63), Holohan, Héry, Puri; O’Halloran (Puri 77), Walsh (Akinade 77).
CORK CITY: Cherrie; Adebayo-Rowling, Kane, Barry, Hurley (McLoughlin 28); Buckley, Doye (McNamee 72); Howard (Cummins 106), Keohane, Sadlier; O’Hanlon.
Referee: S Grant (Wexford).