Stoke City took a 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday, securing progression to the semi-finals of the English League Cup. Wednesday kicked off proceedings but it was not long before Stoke reclaimed the ball, asserting their home ground advantage. The tempo of the game faded early on, with the pitch looking like a giant ping pong table and the two keepers were the paddles.
The Red and White’s persistence culminated in a well-timed volley off the left foot of Ibrahim Afellay into the back of the net to open the scoring in the 29th minute. The leaders were smothering the Owls with pressure, and the visitors were seeing very little of the ball, which did not allow them much chance of an attack. The score at the end of the first 45 stood at 1-0.
Mark Hughes’s men continued to dominate and maintain pressure from the first stanza, but Carlos Carvalhal’s men were more aggressive albeit hasty in their composure. The Yorkshire club had a good bout of ball possession, only to have the home side take control of the midfield again, and generate momentum that saw a number of goal attempts, but it was their final ball that lacked quality. Despite the growing pressure from the visiting side, City secured their progression in the 75th minute after they were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal, where Phil Bardsley launched a powerful strike that flew in off the left post.
This ended the momentum of the visitors and ensured a 2-0 victory for the Potters, who advance to the semi-finals.