Simon Mignolet made a superb double save four minutes from time to ensure Sunderland’s place in tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final draw.
The Belgian keeper denied Everton striker Nikica Jelavic to secure a 1-1 quarter-final draw for the Black Cats – and a replay at the Stadium of Light in 10 days time.
Sunderland thrilled their near-6,000 travelling support by storming ahead in the 12th minute.
The goal, Phil Bardsley’s first of the season, came from a free-kick midway inside the Everton half which Jack Colback took short and passed to Bardsley.
Players in the box immediately started to come out but the full-back sized the situation up immediately and from the right-hand channel hit a viciously struck, low right-foot shot which flew through a crush of bodies and into the bottom right-hand corner of Tim Howard’s goal.
Everton equalised in the 23rd minute through Sunderland nemesis Tim Cahill, who scored his eighth goal against the club.
But there was a real element of good fortune to the goal, which came when Leighton Baines crossed from the left and Jelavic at the near post rose to head goalwards but straight at Cahill who headed back across Mignolet from eight yards out.
* Full report and reaction in tonight’s Football Echo, with a picture special on the big day at Goodison Park. Don’t miss it.