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Match Reports

Albion 1 Southampton 2

17 February 2018

ALBION exited the FA Cup at the fifth-round stage courtesy of a 2-1 defeat by Southampton

Saints centre-back Wesley Hoedt fired the visitors into an 11th-minute lead, which was doubled after the break by Dusan Tadic.

Salomon Rondon immediately replied for the Baggies with a stunning left-footed volley from Grzegorz Krychowiak's throughball just shy of the hour mark.

But Albion could not find another despite applying plenty of second-half pressure, Ahmed Hegazi going closest when he struck the crossbar and Rondon saw his follow-up cleared off the line.

Instead it was Southampton, having triumphed in the Premier League meeting earlier this month, who progressed into the last eight of the competition.

Having already knocked out Exeter City and Liverpool, Albion were bidding to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2015 - coincidentally on the same February 17 date as their meeting with Southampton 50 years ago en route to the club's 1968 triumph.

Yet they found themselves 1-0 down after just 11 minutes as James Ward-Prowse sent in a corner which the unmarked Hoedt volleyed home from eight yards.

Ben Foster made a reflex save from another Saints corner before James McClean fired narrowly wide from distance at the other end.

It was the visitors who led at the break but the Baggies flew out of the blocks at the start of the second period and twice almost levelled.

Former Saints striker Jay Rodriguez saw his strike touched behind by Alex McCarthy and, from the resulting corner, Craig Dawson's header was tipped over by the Southampton goalkeeper.

McCarthy was at it again to keep out Krychowiak's deflected effort while Hegazi's flicked header flew just wide.

But, despite the pressure, it was Southampton who doubled their lead on the break in the 56th minute, Guido Carrillo lofting the ball into the middle for Tadic, who escaped Krychowiak and lifted over Foster.

However, Albion were soon back in it just two minutes later courtesy of a stunning first-time volley from Rondon to convert Krychowiak's 35-yard pass from the centre cirle to just inside the area.

Matt Phillips curled over the crossbar before Hegazi struck the woodwork with a looping effort, from which Rondon saw his strike headed off the line by Southampton skipper Ryan Bertrand - ensuring it was not to be Albion's day.

ALBION: Foster, Dawson, McAuley (c), Hegazi, Evans, Phillips (Burke 89), Krychowiak (Field 82), Barry (Brunt 72), McClean, Rodriguez, Rondon.

Subs: Myhill, Nyom, Gabr, Yacob.


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