Sunderland soared into the last four of the Capital One Cup thanks to Ki’s late strike.
On a night that had appeared destined for disappointment, the South Korea midfielder latched onto Fabio Borini’s strike to break Chelsea hearts and send the Black Cats into the last four of the League Cup.
It was a joyous, brilliiant denouement on a night when Sunderland were for long periods second best but they kept fighting and Italian striker Borini scored the latest of goals to salvage their hopes.
They then improved drastically in extra-time and pressed their visitors enough to secure a deserved late goal which appeared to have booked them a place in the last four of the competition.
On an evening when it looked as if Gus Poyet’s team were going to overwhelmed by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, they were rescued by a Fabio Borini strike that gave them hope of a Wembley date.
Borini’s late strike salvaged Sunderland’s hopes as they appeared to be heading out of the Capital One Cup thanks to Lee Cattermole’s own goal, which was deflected past Vito Mannone with the midfielder under pressure from Frank Lampard. It was the first time that the Goal Decision Review System had been used in the League Cup, and there was a twinge of irony that it was the England midfielder – who had suffered misfortune during the World Cup in South Africa – who benefited from it.
Before then Sunderland had held their own in a first half that was surprisingly low on incident. Lampard had signalled Chelsea’s intentions early on with a strike that flew over the bar and Andre Schurrle was also full of attacking intent, firing a long-range shot that Vito Mannone did well to deal with.
That was the story of the night as Mannone kept Chelsea at bay almost single-handedly as Chelsea players lined up to take shots. Lampard, Schurrle and Samuel Eto’o were all denied by the Italian on a night when he came of age in a Sunderland shirt.
But there were also chances for Sunderland and they might have snatched a winner in normal time when Borini was only denied by the latest of tackles from Gary Cahill, who did brilliantly to deny the striker as he appeared ready to shoot.
That teed up the late drama, which ended with Ki’s goal.