Bradford Stun Villa, Reach League Cup Final

23 Jan 2013

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Bradford players over the moon


Bradford became the first fourth-tier side in over 50 years to reach the League Cup final as they secured a 4-3 aggregate victory over Aston Villa.

The Bantams bridged the gap between the bottom division of English league football and the Premier League to secure a place at Wembley, despite a 2-1 second-leg defeat, reports the BBC.

Another chapter will now be written in one of the most remarkable football stories of recent times as Phil Parkinson's League Two side will face either Swansea City or Chelsea on 24 February.

Bradford may have lost on the night but they stubbornly protected a 3-1 first-leg advantage to emulate a feat last achieved by Rochdale in 1962.

Christian Benteke's first-half goal was just reward for Villa's undoubted superiority but Bradford managed to survive without further damage until half-time, before scoring the goal that takes them to Wembley for the first time since 1996.

James Hanson, the striker who used to stack shelves in a supermarket, flashed a superb header past Shay Given from Gary Jones's corner 10 minutes after the break.
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The Bantams could have wrapped up matters earlier as Hanson missed an open goal and substitute Garry Thompson hit the woodwork - before Andreas Weimann set up a nerve-shredding four minutes of stoppage time with a late goal for Villa.

It was their winner on the night but nothing could stop an explosion of joy in the top tier of Villa Park's North Stand when referee Phil Dowd blew the final whistle that sent Bradford City to Wembley.

Villa may have won this game but there was nothing in the way of solace for the home side's fans as they turned furiously on manager Paul Lambert and his players at the final whistle.

Tags: Bradford Stun Villa, Cup Final, Sports, World

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