Sheffield Wednesday 0 Blackpool 0 (Wednesday win 4-2 on penalties)
Blackpool were made to pay for a string of missed chances as Sheffield Wednesday knocked them out of the Carling Cup with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win.
The Championship side, who had Ashley Eastham sent off, controlled the majority of the game but could not force a breakthrough in the regulation 90 minutes as Billy Clarke and Craig Sutherland missed golden chances.
Neither side could find a goal in extra time either, as Tom Barkhuizen hit the bar for Blackpool, meaning the game ended goalless after 120 minutes.
And after Blackpool missed their first two penalties, League One Wednesday took control, with James O`Connor striking the decisive kick.
With both sides making a rack of changes and large swathes of the Hillsborough seats unoccupied, the game had a distinct feel of pre-season to it and that is how it started as both sides struggled for fluency.
The game eventually opened up and Wednesday looked dangerous when Gary Madine had a shot blocked but Blackpool began to assert their dominance in the closing stages of the first half.
Neal Eardley came within inches of giving Ian Holloway`s men the lead but his 18-yard volley was deflected just wide.
Clarke forced Richard O’Donnell in to a parrying save and Craig Sutherland dragged the best chance wide from six yards as the visitors pushed.
The away side continued to dominate after the break and it was Sutherland in the thick of everything that Blackpool did as his stinging volley warmed the hands of O`Donnell while he also wasted a clear opening when he tamely shot at the keeper when through on goal.
The Seasiders continued to create chances at will after the break and Clarke was guilty of missing the best opportunity of them all when he insisted on using his left foot from eight yards and inexcusably dragged his effort wide with the goal gaping.
Blackpool lost their momentum after Eastham was dismissed for a horror challenge and the game went into extra time.
Tom Barkhuizen had the best chance of the additional period when his shot was turned on to the bar by O`Donnell, but the two sides could not be separated and the game was decided by Clarke and Eardley misses from the spot.
Owls won 4-2 on pens: Palmer, Otsemobor, Morrison and O’Connor all scored.
Owls’ team and bench: O’Donnell, Beevers, Johnson, Reynolds, Otsemobor, D Jones, O’Connor, Coke, Nyoni, Madine, Uchechi. Substitutes: Weaver, Batth, Semedo, Prutton, Palmer, Tumulty, Morrison.
*Read a comprehensive analysis of tonight’s game by Owls reporter Paul Thompson, only in tomorrow’s Star.