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Friday 22 June 2018

Neville thought Toffees were through

EVERTON captain Phil Neville thought John Heitinga had put the Toffees into the semi-finals of the FA Cup before Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet produced a stunning double save to force a replay.

Mignolet saved from Heitinga and Nikica Jelavic in quick succession as time ran out in a full-blooded quarter-final clash at Goodison Park that finished 1-1.

Sunderland had led early after a superb strike from Phil Bardsley, but Everton replied through Tim Cahill and had the better of the chances throughout -- Royston Drenthe was denied a penalty and hit the woodwork.

Neville said: "I honestly thought it was in and when the ball came back to 'Jela' I thought he was going to score. I thought it was going to be our day.



Full-blooded

"It wasn't to be but we are still in the hat. It was a great cup tie -- it was full-blooded, there were lots of fouls, lots of free-kicks, lots of action, people giving their all."

Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill was happy still to be in the competition.

"We started the game brilliantly, got the goal and we were playing very well," he said.

"The equaliser knocked us back, we lost a bit of confidence with it. There was a big surge from the home crowd.

"I thought the second half could have gone either way but they pressed us more towards the end of the game. I am delighted we are still in the hat.

"It was a magnificent double save, brilliant. If we had been beaten there I would have been really disappointed. I wouldn't have been sure we deserved to be beaten. On reflection, a draw was probably a fair result."

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