Sunderland 1-0 Shrewsbury Town: Januzaj effort squeezes Black Cats into the third round

Sunderland squeezed out a narrow 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Cup

Sunderland 1-0 Shrewsbury Town: Januzaj effort squeezes Black Cats into the third round
Above: Adnan Januzaj celebrating his goal in Sunderland's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town | Photo: Reuters
SUNDERLAND
1 0
SHREWSBURY TOWN
SUNDERLAND: PICKFORD, VAN AANHOLT, DJILOBODJI, MCNAIR, LOVE, RODWELL, PIENAAR (WATMORE, MIN. 60), GOOCH, KHAZRI, JANUZAJ, ASORO
SHREWSBURY TOWN : LEUTWILER, EL-ABD, RILEY, MCGIVERN, LANCASHIRE, SARCEVIC (O'BRIEN, MIN. 64), OGOGO, DEEGAN, BROWN, TONEY (WARING, MIN. 78), DODDS (MANGAN, MIN. 73)
SCORE: 1-0, MIN. 82, JANUZAJ
REFEREE: JEREMY SIMPSON BOOKED DEEGAN (MIN. 7) SARCEVIC (MIN. 29) GOOCH (MIN. 55)

A late goal from Adnan Januzaj saved Sunderland's blushes in the English Football Cup, with a narrow 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town.

It was a poor first 45 minutes from both sides in terms of chances, with half opportunities from Steven Pienaar and Joel Asoro been the chances of any recognition.

The intensity picked up in the second period, with good chances from Osoro, Ivan Toney and Whabi Khazri. The game looked to be heading for an extra 30 minutes, before Januzaj's effort sent the hosts through to third round.

Above: Steven Pienaar  disappointed by his shot | Photo: Getty Images
Above: Steven Pienaar disappointed by his shot during Sunderland's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town  | Photo: Getty Images

Very slow start to proceedings

Sunderland manager David Moyes stated before the game that his side will be taking the EFL Cup seriously, but they lacked any intensity in the opening half.

The first opportunity came in the eighth minute, as Januzaj showed great trickery to create some space, but his effort was blocked and the follow-up by Donald Love was well wide.

Their first real chance of the game didn't arrive until three minutes from the break. Pienaar did well to latch onto Ryan McGivern's poor pass, the South African hit the effort from outside the box but just blazed over the crossbar.

Osoro was looking to repay Moyes' faith in him, and the young striker almost did right at the death. The young striker played an excellent one-two to split open the Shrew's defence, but a heavy first touch and the goalkeeper's presence saw the chance go begging.

Above: Wahbi Khazri ruing his missed opportunity in Sunderland's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town | Photo: Getty Images
Above: Wahbi Khazri ruing his missed opportunity in Sunderland's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town | Photo: Getty Images

Picking up the pace

Both sides certainly picked up their attacking prowess in the second period, with both having good chances to snatch the tie.

Osoro had looked dangerous on his senior competitive debut, and had a glorious chance when Januzaj cut the ball back to him, but his effort was excellently saved by Jason Leutwiler.

Micky Mellon's side were certainly not out of the game, and had a great chance just after the hour mark. Toney did well to collect the clip over the top, and Jordan Pickford had to make a decent save to keep it out.

The Black Cats began to pile forward as the clocked ticked down, and some inside the Stadium of Light thought they had taken the lead in the 79th minute. Patrick van Aanholt did well to get the ball to Khazri, but the winger's effort skimmed the side-netting.

Above: Adnan Januzaj firing home his effort in Sunderland's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town | Photo: Getty Images
Above: Adnan Januzaj firing home his effort in Sunderland's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town | Photo: Getty Images

What a way to win it

The contest on Wearside looked to be heading to extra-time, before Sunderland struck seven minutes from the end in spectacular fashion.

Pickford produced an excellent kick down to substitute Duncan Watmore, who passed it on to Januzaj. The Manchester United loanee made no mistake with his effort, curling it into the top corner from 25 yards, to send the small Black Cat's crowd into a frenzy.

Shrews fans thought they had taken it to extra-time right at the death, when George Waring was presented with the ball two yards out, but somehow headed it wide.