Yakubu sinks 10-man Derby County as Reading progress
Derby County1 Reading2
Derby were lauded as "absolutely heroic" by manager Steve McClaren, despite slipping out of the FA Cup to a late goal from former Premiership star striker, Ayegbeni Yakubu - a player he once signed.
The Championship promotion seekers had twice-capped England international full-back Stephen Warnock sent off for a second yellow card in the 39th minute, but still gave Reading a run for their money.
Hal Robson-Kanu put the visitors ahead just after half-time but Darren Bent equalised soon after and it needed an 82nd-minute strike from Yakubu to settle the match in Reading's favour.
"The way we continued to set about a good Reading side in such a positive way made me very proud," said McClaren. "You can hardly expect to win a game when you are down to 10 for 50 minutes. It's well-nigh impossible but, my word, we had a terrific crack at it.
"We didn't want a replay. We didn't want any more on our plate. We wanted to win at the first attempt and we couldn't have shown more willingness to have a real go at it.
"Even a man down we looked the better side but we were eventually caught on the break and a well-taken goal from the Yak saw Reading through. As soon as I saw him warming up to go on, I thought, 'Oh no, not him!'"
Substitute Yakubu underlined his quality by picking up a Simon Cox through-ball and powering forward, before firing home a clinical left-footed shot from the edge of the box to settle the match.
Reading manager Steve Clarke, who signed Yakubu as a free agent, had no doubt the former Nigeria, Everton and Portsmouth striker would make the most of his opportunity.
He said: "He's very good at doing the business in that sort of situation and that makes him a great asset.
"All credit to Derby for the way they played with 10. We knew they would still come at us but we handled the situation well."
Sunday Indo Sport