Cahill flattens Hatters
Last Updated: 01/11/07 6:31am
Everton were indebted to super-sub Tim Cahill's goal as they needed extra- time to see off Luton Town 1-0 in the Carling Cup.
The Australian international's close range finish settled a keenly contested tie at Kenilworth Road that had looked to be heading for a penalty shoot-out.
The League One outfit had been the better side in a turgid opening half despite losing veteran front-man Paul Furlong to an early injury.
Although Everton turned the screw after the break they had to wait until the 101st minute to book their passage through to the last eight of the competition for the first time in 20 years.
Luton - who had lost 4-0 away to the same opponents in round three in the Carling Cup last year - proved more than a match for their Premier League opponents in a game that lacked nothing in effort but plenty in quality.
A fiercely struck free kick from David Bell that struck the outside of the post was the closest either side came to a goal in the first 45 minutes.
The same player went close again for Luton soon after the break, though Everton - perhaps with a few words ringing in their ears from manager David Moyes - soon began to take control.
Joleon Lescott wasted the best opportunity during a period of heavy pressure, dragging a shot wide when he had a clear sight of goal.
Luton 'keeper Dean Brill was called into action to turn over an effort from Leon Osman, while he was left rooted to the spot by an Alan Stubbs' pile driver that flew just wide.
He was also helped out by his team-mate Matthew Spring, who was in the right place to hack off the line after Phil Jagielka's looping header had threatened to roll into the net.
In the end, Moyes' men were forced to wait until the 101st minute to get their goal, Cahill prodding home a flicked-on corner at the far post.
The Toffees nearly came unstuck in the second period of extra-time but Spring's goal-bound drive was cleared off the line by Lescott.
Substitute Calvin Andrew also went close in the final minutes but Luton were unable to find an equaliser, meaning an end to their excellent cup run that had seen them humble Sunderland and Charlton Athletic.
|Luton Town||Team Statistics||Everton|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||8|
|8||Shots off Target||7|