Football: Giant-killers Bradford add Sunderland scalp

A Bradford City supporter holds a mascot during their FA Cup fifth round soccer match against Sunderland at Valley Parade in Bradford, northern England on Sunday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Bradford City supporter holds a mascot during their FA Cup fifth round soccer match against Sunderland at Valley Parade in Bradford, northern England on Sunday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Third-division Bradford City continued their remarkable progress in the FA Cup by beating Premier League Sunderland 2-0 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1976.

Bradford, beaten League Cup finalists in 2013, stunned Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in round four and they pulled off another upset at Valley Parade courtesy of a John O'Shea own goal and a strike by Sunderland old boy Jon Stead.

Phil Parkinson's side, 37 places below Premier League strugglers Sunderland in League One, will now take their place in Monday's draw for the last eight.

Bradford's fans witnessed home wins over Arsenal and Aston Villa during their side's run to the League Cup final two years ago and they had a goal to celebrate within three minutes of kick-off against Sunderland.

Filipe Morais's free-kick from wide on the right found Billy Clarke at the back post and although his left-foot shot was flying well wide, it struck Sunderland captain O'Shea on the leg and cannoned into the net.

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher had a penalty appeal waved away and home goalkeeper Ben Williams saved from Danny Graham and Patrick van Aanholt before Stead made it 2-0 in the 61st minute.

This time Sunderland winger Adam Johnson was at fault, dallying on the ball before playing a clearance straight to James Hanson, whose header freed Stead to squeeze a shot beneath visiting goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The on-loan Huddersfield Town striker has now scored in all five rounds of this season's competition.

Earlier, a half-time rallying cry from new manager Tim Sherwood inspired Aston Villa to beat Premier League rivals Leicester City 2-1 and book their place in the last eight.

Leicester enjoyed the best of the first half at Villa Park, with Marcin Wasilewski's header grazing the post and Matty James forcing Shay Given into a sensational one-handed save.

But Sherwood, watching from the stands after being appointed as the successor to Paul Lambert on Saturday, made a visit to the home changing room at the interval and Villa were a different team in the second period.

After Christian Benteke had twice gone close, Leandro Bacuna broke the deadlock in the 68th minute when he collected a pass from Ron Vlaar, cut inside Danny Simpson and curled a shot around Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from 18 yards.

A terrible blunder from the veteran Schwarzer, who allowed a tame shot from Villa substitute Scott Sinclair to squirm past him, saw the home side double their lead in the 89th minute.

Andrej Kramaric replied for Leicester with a magnificent header in the first minute of stoppage time, but it was too little, too late.

On Sherwood's half-time intervention, Villa assistant manager Scott Marshall told the BBC: "Yeah, he came in there and made a few points to the lads. The boys took them on board and delivered it in the second half."

Holders Arsenal continue their defence of the trophy at home to Middlesbrough later on Sunday, while Manchester United visit League One side Preston North End on Monday.