Hull City reached the FA Cup semifinals for the first time since 1930 after compounding the woes of beaten League Cup finalists Sunderland in a 3-0 victory on Sunday.
Sunderland were bidding to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Manchester City in last weekend’s League Cup final and they received an early let-off when Hull striker Sone Aluko saw his penalty saved by Oscar Ustari.
Steve Bruce’s men were less charitable in the second half, however, with Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt scoring three times in nine minutes to quash Sunderland’s hopes of an immediate Wembley return.
Meyler celebrated his strike by headbutting the corner flag, in a nod to his touchline skirmish with Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew last weekend.
While Pardew is still to learn his fate from the Football Association, Meyler and his teammates can now look forward to a last-four date with Sheffield United.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet made six changes to the team beaten in the League Cup final, while for Hull, Aluko and Yannick Sagbo came in up front for cup-tied strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic.
Poyet also handed a debut to Ustari and the Argentine had a nervous early moment when a miscued left-wing cross by Hull’s Maynor Figueroa landed on the top of his crossbar.
Ignacio Scocco fired over at the other end, but Hull were making most of the running and after Fryatt headed wide from an Ahmed Elmohamady cross, the hosts won a penalty when Sebastian Larsson tripped Aluko.
The Nigeria international elected to take the spot-kick himself, but Ustari guessed correctly and plunged to his right to make the save.
Liam Rosenior chanced his arm with a low shot from 30 yards moments later, but Ustari again proved equal to the task.
There was a dip in intensity at the beginning of the second half, until Davies met Tom Huddlestone’s right-wing free-kick with an imperious header to put Hull ahead in the 68th minute.
It was a third goal in three games for the former Aston Villa centre-back and he was celebrating again four minutes later when Meyler made it 2-0.
The Irish international beat Lee Cattermole to a bouncing ball before calmly advancing on goal and slotting a low shot into the bottom-right corner.
He celebrated by bashing his head against one of the corner flags, in a reference to the incident during Hull’s 4-1 loss to Newcastle that saw Pardew sent to the stands for appearing to aim a headbutt at him.
Sunderland’s resistance had crumbled. In the 77th minute Cattermole’s blind back-pass left Fryatt one-on-one with Ustari and the Hull striker made no mistake.