May 26 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Fulham 1 Blackpool 1
Veteran midfielder Giorgos Karagounis saved Fulham’s FA Cup blushes with his first goal for the club as they fought back to earn a replay against Blackpool.
Karagounis, a former European champion with Greece, volleyed in a late equaliser to avoid a cup upset at Craven Cottage after Ludovic Sylvestre had put the Championship side in front.
Blackpool should have gone ahead in the 12th minute when the home defence allowed Chris Basham space to turn and tee up Thomas Ince, but his left-foot effort straight at David Stockdale and deflected over.
Stockdale’s opposite number Matt Gilks was called into action soon afterwards, leaping to his right to push away a curling free-kick from Bryan Ruiz as Fulham began to put the visitors’ back line under pressure.
But the home side squandered a number of decent openings, with Ruiz’s close-range attempt deflected behind and Ashkan Dejagah, Steve Sidwell and Alexander Kacaniklic all off target.
It was Stockdale who was the busier of the two keepers as the first half drifted to a close, stretching to push away another Ince effort and diving to deny Kevin Phillips.
Fulham’s frustration grew after the break and Martin Jol soon brought on Hugo Rodallega to join Dimitar Berbatov up front, but the new-look front line had little chance to make an impact before the Seasiders snatched the lead.
Nathan Delfouneso skipped down the left flank and cut the ball back for Sylvestre, who stabbed it low beyond Stockdale from the edge of the box.
The Whites responded with a flurry of attacks but, apart from a Rodallega header that was deflected behind, they looked unlikely to conjure up an equaliser.
Ince could have sealed their fate, firing wide after another lively run from Delfouneso and then dispatching a cross-cum-shot inches wide of the far post.
But Karagounis handed his side a lifeline 10 minutes from time after Blackpool half-cleared Ruiz’s corner, collecting the loose ball to send a dipping volley beyond Gilks into the far corner.
Fulham flooded the visitors’ half in the closing stages and they could have snatched the tie when substitute Kerim Frei’s cross picked out the head of Ruiz, but the crossbar came to Blackpool’s rescue.
The sides will meet again at Bloomfield Road in 10 days’ time to decide who progresses to the fourth round.
Fulham: Stockdale; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs (Frei 72); Dejagah (Rodallega 54), Karagounis, Sidwell, Kacaniklic (Richardson 70); Berbatov, Ruiz.