O'Sullivan and Healey secure last gasp win in extra-timeTwo goals in the last seconds of extra time saw City's Development squad claim a thrilling 4-3 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in the U-21 Premier League Cup.
City looked like they were exiting the competition with just a minute remaining in Sussex, before two quick-fire goals from Tommy O'Sullivan and Rhys Healey saw Kevin Cooper's men turn a heart breaking defeat into a stunning victory. City's reward will be a first round tie against Chelsea at Cardiff City Stadium, fixture details will be announced on CardiffCityFC.co.uk when confirmed.
In a thrilling game at Sussex County FA’s headquarters, City almost made the most of their early play as Etien Velikonja hit the post from Declan John’s cross. Just four minutes later the home side were in front, Soloman March firing home to give Brighton the lead against the run of play.
It didn’t deter Kevin Cooper’s Development side however, Rhys Healey netting just six minutes later as he grabbed his seventh goal in as many games to draw the Bluebirds level from Theo Wharton’s through ball.
They soon pushed for the lead, Tommy O’Sullivan shooting over the bar before John saw his powerful drive hit the upright. Healey was also denied his second of the game just before half-time by a strong block from the Brighton defence.
HALF TIME: Brighton & Hove Albion U-21s 1-1 Cardiff City DVP
Just seconds after the interval, City were once again denied by the upright as O’Sullivan’s placed effort almost put the young Bluebirds ahead.
But it was an open affair at Sussex County FA headquarters as the home side enjoyed their own spell of pressure. George Barker first saw his curling effort deflect just wide before some last ditch defending and excellent goalkeeping from Simon Moore kept the scores level as the Seagulls upped the tempo.
City weren’t to weather the storm however as Barker put the finishing touches to some lovely build-up play to put the home side back in front just short of the hour mark.
Undeterred City pushed once again, Deji Oshilaja heading just over the bar before Velikonja failed to make the most of his one-on-one opportunity as he slipped his effort wide. It looked like it was not going to be City’s night.
But in the 89th minute, up stepped Filip Kiss. Making the most of a delightful cross from John on the right, Kiss jumped highest to fire the ball home with his head and draw the Bluebirds’ level. A last minute equaliser that would take the game to Extra-time.
FULL-TIME: Brighton & Hove Albion U-21s 2-2 Cardiff City DVP
In the very first moments of extra-time the Bluebirds had it all to do again as Charlie Harris fired the ball home to put the Seagulls back in-front.
Clearly rallied by their boss at the interval, Brighton soon pushed to put the game beyond doubt; City ‘keeper Moore at hand to deny March’s powerful effort to keep City in touch. O’Sullivan responded and almost drew City level once again only to be denied by the upright for the second time on the night.
EXTRA TIME FIRST-HALF: Brighton & Hove Albion U-21s 3-2 Cardiff City DVP
Moore was at hand yet again to deny Goodwin for Brighton’s fourth before the Seagulls striker had the ball in the net just two minutes from time, only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
With just 30 seconds left on the clock Wales under-21 International O’Sullivan sparked frantic scenes as he tapped home an equaliser for the Bluebirds to draw the sides level and seemingly take the game to penalties.
But the Bluebirds weren’t ready to settle for that. Going on the attack once more from the restart City claimed the most memorable of victories as Healey grabbed his second of the game with the very last kick.
An astonishing turnaround for Kevin Cooper’s side as they earn a first-round tie with Chelsea at Cardiff City Stadium.
EXTRA-TIME FULL-TIME: Brighton & Hove Albion U-21s 3-4 Cardiff City DVP
TEAMS- Brighton & Hove Albion U-21s: Walton, Hunt, Barnett, Richards, Rea, Maksimenko, Barker, Harris, Goodwin, March, Dickenson, (Deen 80). Subs not used: Smith, Deen, Barclay, Davis, Muitt.
Goals: March (22), Barker (59), Harris (92).
Cardiff City DVP: Moore, Owen, John, Kiss, Amondarain, Oshilaja, Williams (Bell 82), O'Sullivan, Velikonja (Yorwerth 82), Healey, Wharton. Subs not used: Massaro, Hawkins, Bowen.
Goals: Healey (28, 120), Kiss (89), O’Sullivan (120)