American Exports: Jozy Altidore goes the distance, notches assist in Sunderland's FA Cup win
AMSTERDAM – Sunderland forward Jozy Altidore went the distance in his first career FA Cup start on Sunday, notching an assist on the capper in a 3-1 victory over League One visitors Carlisle United.
The US ace drew two saves from four shot attempts, with his best effort denied by a good save in the waning moments of the game. Mere seconds later, Altidore controlled the ball at the top of the box before teeing up debutant El Hadji Ba for the Black Cats' third to notch his team-high sixth assist in all competitions.
The fourth-round draw was kind to Sunderland, giving them a home match against the survivor of a replay between fifth-tier Kidderminster and League One outfit Peterborough on January 24 or 25.
Meanwhile, Zak Whitbread went unused as Derby County fell 2-0 to FA Cup guests Chelsea and Alejandro Bedoya did likewise as Nantes bowed out of the Coupe de la Ligue with a 2-0 home defeat against Nice.
In an FA Cup duel of clubs starting young Americans, Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest cruised to the fourth round with a 5-0 rout against Sebastian Lletget's West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.
Lichaj nearly doubled an early Forest lead, breaking in alone from deft combo play to force a good kick save in the 41st minute. Just before the break, the Hammers debutant went into the ref's book after fouling to cover his giveaway.
Shortly after Lichaj surrendered his left back post with a small limp, Lletget was robbed of an equalizer in the 59th minute. The 21-year-old did well to control a high bounce of a clearance at the end of a corner kick before firing a half volley that was denied by a top-notch diving save.
Forest soon began to run up the score on a West Ham side filled with youngsters while most of the starters rest up for their midweek Capital One Cup semifinal against Manchester City. Lichaj & Co. move on to host a fourth-round clash with the replay winner between Ipswich Town and Preston North End.