Sunday, 30 April 2017

AFCB break 40 points and send Sunderland down 0-1

Match Report
Sunderland 0 v 1 AFCB
29 April 2017
Attendance: 38,394

A Josh King goal just two minutes from time condemned Sunderland to relegation and championship football. It was far from a convincing display from the Cherries but by winning the game they also are likely to have secured their Premier League status for another season. It was far from a certain outcome though as Sunderland had numerous attempts on the Bournemouth goal that were thwarted mainly by the leadership at the back from Simon Francis, and the outstanding saves of Artur Boruc. Their were moments of beautiful passing football from the Cherries, especially in the first half, but it became a game of attrition and Benik Afobe was subbed after picking up a hamstring pull. AFCB will still feel that they can now start to celebrate if Swansea don't win at Old Trafford this weekend. AFCB did what they needed to and move up to 10th in the league.

Lewis Cook made his second start of the season replacing Dan Gosling in central midfield, while Jordan Ibe returned to the bench along with Brad Smith.

Sunderland made four changes from the mid-week team that lost to Middlesbrough. In came Koné, Love, Pienaar and Anichebe. Out went Cattermole, Denayer, Gibson and Jones.
The Stadium of Light.
First Half
AFCB kicked off in their blue away kit and had to retake it. Bournemouth were straight at Sunderland and quickly won their first corner. Daniels worked the corner with Fraser and fired in a low cross, but Steve Cook could not beat the defender to the ball.

Pugh was next to drive into the box and was blocked out by Koné for AFCB's third corner. Sunderland did then get into AFCB's half and Borini won a free kick against Daniels in the corner. 

But Lewis Cook led the AFCB breakaway. Adam Smith moved forward quickly on the right and fed the ball into King and he shot right at Pickford, for the first shot on target.

Love put a bad ball across the pitch which Fraser latched on to and set the Cherries up field again. Pugh then picked up another corner. Fraser's cross almost reached King and Sunderland were living on the edge.

Sunderland almost had a chance when Borini misaligned a volley on the edge of the box and missed the ball completely! Arter was finding Adam Smith on the diagonal frequently in lots of space. 

Afobe gave the ball away to Borini and Defoe was blocked before Borini hot a shot high at Boruc which he managed to keep out, but it was serving viciously. A good save from Boruc.

Josh King went down in the box in the 12th minute from a Koné challenge, but he did not claim for a penalty. Fraser put in a great ball for Daniels, who stepped inside O'Shea and could not quite get his shot away, but he was really close to taking the lead.

Sunderland's attacks were quickly being broken up and while AFCB had the possession, there was a danger that Sunderland might counter themselves. The big pitch was really suiting AFCB who were knocking the ball around with a fast tempo.

Khazri makes a run to AFCB's box and pulls the ball back to Defoe who shoots horribly wide. AFCB go straight up the other end up the left wing, but King unluckily hit his shot against the crossbar and far post. It was an ambitious bend on the shot that almost curled in. AFCB's best effort so far.

This was end to end now with Khazri firing a shot at Boruc that was comfortable to save.

The only surprise is that it's still 0-0 after 22 minutes. King is winning his battle with Koné and Arter puts in a big tackle on Borini. Pugh is taking advantage and shoots back across goal, but Pickford gets down to his right to make the save.

Defoe is hit long by Pickford, but fires a hopeful shot wide. Francis loses the ball to Anichebe and Defoe shoots and has his shot blocked. Calls for handball on Francis are turned down.

Afobe is next to get some injury attention after Koné caught him. It looks like Afobe's right ankle, but he is going to continue.

Sunderland have the ball in AFCB's box and Boruc makes a good save from Khazri with his feet and Defoe has a leg stuck out to try and flick the ball past Boruc, but it's right into Boruc's arms. 29 minutes gone.

Arter is picking up a lot of Sunderland's misplaced passes in midfield and Afobe comes close to turning O'Shea. Lewis Cook is then fouled by Pienaar. King holds off a defender and sets it back to Adam Smith who shoots on target from distance and it's easily handled by Pickford.

Lewis Cook tries to stop Borini, but fouls from behind. Lewis Cook gets a yellow card. It's a good position for Sunderland, but Khazri's ball in is headed wide.

Daniels almost causes problems with a clearance that goes across the box. AFCB will be disappointed if they are not ahead at half time as Sunderland are coming more and more into this.

AFCB are not quite getting it right in the last third with Ryan Fraser the latest player not to manage to pick out King clearly with a low cross and Sunderland clear.

Defoe gets closer with some movement from Borini, and Defoe's shot back across goal going just wide on 39 minutes. Pugh puts in a low cross for Afobe that is blocked and Kings shot is cleared off the line by Love.

Kings finds some space and Afobe sees his shot blocked by O'Shea. The long ball almost finds Defoe but Francis cuts it off superbly, picking the ball out from the air. Two minutes of extra time are underway.

Defoe and Anichebe just over run the ball in the box. Pienaar puts in a good cross but Daniels puts it out for a corner with a flick header. Great defending, 0-0 at half time.

Half time Stats
AFCB: Possession 61%, shots 7, shots on target 4, corners 4, fouls 5
Sunderland: Possession 39%, shots 9, shots on target 2, corners 1, fouls 3


Second Half
Fraser is quick out of the blocks and plays it down the line for King. His cross picks out Pugh on the far side, but he heads down and straight at Pickford. Pienaar catches King and gets Sunderland's first yellow card.

Arter gets caught in possession by Ndong, but Francis makes a great interception. Fraser goes down but Manquillo makes a fair challenge, no penalty. Pugh tries to pick out the top left corner but it glides just over!

Defoe puts in Borini and Boruc has to make a great save to his right. That was a match saver! 50 minutes gone and Boruc just kept the game level.

At the other end Fraser hits a shot from 18 yards low and at the keeper. Khazri fouls Adam Smith in the air.

The game has gone just a bit chaotic. AFCB try and take a free kick quickly and Sunderland get the blocks in, but it's last gasp stuff. Francis is fouled now. Steve Cook heads over.

Great tackle from Steve Cook at the other end on Khazrhi as he was about to shoot. Corner to Sunderland and Koné heads over. Good chance missed.

Sunderland sub Pienaar for Honeyman on 55 minutes. Afobe is down again and holds his right hamstring. He's going off and Junior Stanislas comes on after 57 minutes. Stanislas plays the number 10 role and King moves to the main striker position.

A quick through from Boruc to Stanislas almost has King in, but Stanislas hits his pass too hard.

Kings puts Stanislas in up the left and AFCB recycle the ball back to the right wing with King. AFCB keeping possession and Fraser tries to play King in but he is held off.

The pace has slowed a bit this half. Honeyman is pulling Sunderland forward though. 35 minutes to go here at the Stadium of Light.

Defoe on a run from half way is forced to pass to Borini and he holds the ball up in the box and comes out to put a reverse pass in for Honeyman and Boruc has to make a sharp save at his near post! That was close.

Francis concedes a corner. Sunderland are pushing for this goal. Boruc is fouled and gets a hand on the cross.

Adam Smith puts a deep cross in from the right and Pugh again heads over on 71 minutes. Anichebe is getting some attention now after Simon Francis caught him, as Anichebe bent his head down. Adam Smith is now bundled over by Anichebe.

There's a big argument with Arter involved. Both he and Borini are booked. Kharzi is now also carded.

AFCB have a corner on 78 minutes. Arte comes forwards and Fraser gets a cross in but it's cleared y Koné. Khazri is caught offside.

Pugh goes down in the box as he loses his feet. Arter is prevented from getting a shot away and Francis has to rush back to stop Defoe on the break. This is like a school park game.

Lys Mousset is coming on for Marc Pugh on 82 minutes. Sunderland only find Boruc's hands from their corner.

King goes down in the box, it is not given as a penalty. King was actually offside as well.

Khazri then goes down in Bournemouth's box with Francis and Adam Smith falling over him.

Sunderland have another corner, just five minutes left. Boruc has to make a good save as a shot is fired in from distance!

Defoe has a chance but it deflect off of Adam Smith for a corner. The corner is straight out.

Bournemouth are back in possession. Lys Mousett plays in Fraser and he crosses for Josh King to put AFCB 0-1 up on 88 minutes. It was calmly finished by King. The Sunderland defenders all got sucked into Fraser and it was simple for King.

The game was perhaps rather apt for two teams that have had trouble keeping out goals all season. They both attacked with everything they had and it was quite remarkable that there was only one goal and that it came so late in the game. It was not any easy win for Bournemouth and they will be pleased to have got over the line with three games to play, barring a Swansea win at Old Trafford. Sunderland fought hard and might have had better luck at times, as AFCB certainly rode their luck. Josh King will again be the headliner but the whole team will know that they did a lot of running in this game. The lure of a top 10 finish is now tantalisingly within AFCB's grasp, if they can finish the season strongly from here.

Pickford, Love, Manquillo, O'Shea, Koné, Pienaar (Honeymann 55), Ndong, Borini, Khazri, Anichebe, Defoe

Black Cat Subs
Mannone, Lescott, Honeyman, Embleton, Gooch, Januzaj, Djilbodje

Boruc, A Smith, Francis, S Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Gradel 90), L Cook, Arter, Pugh, King, Afobe (Stanislas 57)

Allsop, Mings, B Smith, Stanislas, Ibe, Gradel, Mousset

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 9, A Smith 7, Francis 8, S Cook 7, Daniels 7, Fraser 8, L Cook 7, Arter 7, Pugh 7, King 8, Afobe 6

Referee Watch: Stuart Attwell - 7/10 he let a lot of things go and could have given out more cards, but he managed to keep the players on the pitch and did not fall for any of the suggested penalty calls, which was the correct call.

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