Norwich, QPR humbled in FA Cup; Arsenal escapes

Updated 27 January 2013
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Norwich, QPR humbled in FA Cup; Arsenal escapes

LONDON: Non-league Luton Town pulled off an historic FA Cup upset by winning 1-0 at Premier League Norwich City in the fourth round yesterday, while third-tier Milton Keynes Dons humbled Queens Park Rangers 4-2.
Luton, of the fifth-tier Conference National, prevailed through an 80th-minute Scott Rendell goal at Carrow Road to become the first non-league team to eliminate top-flight opposition in 24 years.
League Cup winners in 1988 but relegated from the Football League after going into administration in 2009, Luton began the day 85 places below their opponents in the English league pyramid.
They will be only the seventh non-league team to compete in the fifth round since World War II.
QPR, the Premier League’s bottom club, can now focus all their efforts on avoiding relegation after a humiliating defeat at home to MK Dons of League One.
Although QPR manager Harry Redknapp made nine changes to his team, his starting XI still featured seven full internationals, but they fell behind in the fourth minute when Dean Lewington stabbed in at a corner.
Ryan Lowe made it 2-0 five minutes before half-time and then set up Ryan Harley early in the second half, before Darren Potter added a fourth in the 56th minute when QPR failed to clear a corner.
Jay Bothroyd and Fabio da Silva claimed a pair of consolation goals for QPR.
Arsenal overcame stubborn resistance from second-tier Brighton and Hove Albion, conquerors of Newcastle United in the previous round, to reach the fifth round with a 3-2 win.
Olivier Giroud found the top-left corner to put Arsenal ahead in the 16th minute but Brighton drew level in the 33rd minute when Ashley Barnes beat visiting goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to a right-wing corner.
Giroud restored Arsenal’s lead 11 minutes into the second half, bringing down Abou Diaby’s pass and finishing sharply, but again Brighton replied, with Argentine debutant Leonardo Ulloa stooping to head home Barnes’ sweeping cross.
Arsenal had the last word, however, with Theo Walcott netting in the 85th minute to spare Arsene Wenger’s men the inconvenience of a replay.
Everton, fifth in the Premier League, needed an injury-time winner from John Heitinga to prevail 2-1 at second-tier Bolton Wanderers.
South African midfielder Steven Pienaar had diverted a Victor Anichebe shot into the net to put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute, only for Marvin Sordell to equalize nine minutes later.
Luton’s fellow fifth-tier representatives Macclesfield Town were knocked out, going down 1-0 at home to Wigan Athletic courtesy of a seventh-minute Jordi Gomez penalty.
Earlier, a late goal by Pablo Zabaleta earned Manchester City a 1-0 win in an attritional tie at bogey team Stoke City.
The English champions had not won at Stoke in six previous visits and they lost captain and center-back Vincent Kompany to an ankle injury in the first half.
However, Zabaleta struck in the 85th minute to send Roberto Mancini’s men into round five, finishing deftly from Sergio Aguero’s low cross to complete a move that he had started.
“Today we were solid at the back, and up front we were very aggressive,” said Zabaleta, an FA Cup winner with City in 2011.
“The Stoke crowd push the team a lot and we knew it was going to be difficult for us. We want to win the FA Cup again.” Premier League leaders Manchester United are in action in the evening kick-off, with top-flight rivals Fulham the visitors to Old Trafford.
The fourth round began with an upset on Friday, when Aston Villa, beaten by fourth-tier Bradford City in the League Cup in mid-week, lost 2-1 at Championship club Millwall.


Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

Updated 49 min 22 sec ago
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Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

  • The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament
  • The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal

KAZAN: Radamel Falcao, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored as stylish Colombia boosted their World Cup last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday.
In a match destined to see the loser sent home after the group stages, Colombia overcame a nervous start against Adam Nawalka’s men to move up to third place in Group H, one point behind Japan and Senegal.
The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament.
“I’m very sorry and very sad about the result, but tomorrow’s another day and we have to come to terms with things,” said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.
“Our players did their best until the end of the game. We lost to a very strong team and this is something we have to accept.
“I extend my congratulations to Colombia.”
The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal, who drew 2-2 with Japan earlier in the day.
Colombia’s march to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago came thanks to James Rodriguez’s six-goal tally for Los Cafeteros.
And days after a troublesome calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role as 10-man Colombia stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best.
Starting alongside Juan Quintero and Cuadrado on the right, Colombia’s ultra-offensive starting line-up was a forewarning.
After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.
Cuadrado was wasteful on several occasions when finding space deep on the right flank.
The Juventus winger’s trickery would eventually pay dividends, but it was Falcao — who has dreamed all his life of scoring a World Cup goal — who turned on the style, dancing through the Polish defense to win the corner that led to Colombia’s opener.
Rodriguez’s short corner eventually found Quintero, whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a perfect left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes.
Colombia resumed in positive fashion, Cuadrado holding up well to set up Falcao for a first-time drive that sailed over Szczesny’s crossbar.
A Colombia counter saw Falcao’s drive from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner.
Nawalka replaced Dawid Kownacki with the more experienced Kamil Grosicki and the switch almost paid dividends.
Only the bravery of goalkeeper David Ospina saved Colombia from conceding what looked like the equalizer when he rushed out to block from Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker did well to get a shot away from a long ball from midfield.
Poland threatened again, but when Lewandowski got his head to a cross into the area he was marked by both Mina and Davinson Sanchez.
Colombia, however, were not to be denied.
When right-back Sanitago Arias found Quintero, the midfielder sliced Poland’s defense apart with a low pass that found Falcao on the run before he beat Szczesny down low with the outside of his right boot.
Five minutes later, Rodriguez produced arguably the assist of the night, drawing several Polish players on the left flank before somehow finding Cuadrado on the run with a superb cross-field pass that the pacey winger tucked away.