Football: Rochdale 0 - 2 Sheffield Wednesday
Date published: 16 September 2020
Crown Oil Arena
Rochdale went out of the EFL Cup at the second round stage after defeat at the Crown Oil Arena by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday (15 September).
After a fairly uneventful first half, Wednesday stepped up a gear after the break and went in front when Elias Kachunga powerfully headed past Gavin Bazunu just six minutes into the second half. The on loan Manchester City goalkeeper was in inspired form as he kept out a number of efforts from the visitors but could do nothing to stop substitute Josh Windass’ shot that whistled into the top corner with two minutes remaining to settle the game.
After defeat in the opening league game at Swindon, it was back to cup action for Brian Barry-Murphy’s men as they welcomed Sheffield Wednesday in what was the first home game of the new season. The Dale manager made three changes from the Swindon game; Jimmy McNulty, Yeboah Amankwah and Kwadwo Baah were given starts. New signing Stephen Humphrys was cup tied after playing for Southend in the first round.
The first half was an uninspiring affair with neither goalkeeper troubled. Wednesday’s Joe Wildsmith held an Alex Newbie shot whilst Adam Reach fired into the side netting after a short free-kick routine for the visitors.
The Owls came out for the second half all guns blazing with Gavin Bazunu in the Dale goal having to work hard to keep the opposition out. Within 60 seconds of the re-start, Alex Hunt struck a vicious shot that was just about kept out by the outstretched hand of Bazunu. Minutes later Kachunga headed off the post after a well worked move with the follow up scrambled over the line; an assistants flag coming to Dale’s rescue as the goal was ruled out.
The opening goal wasn’t far off and it was Kachunga netting his first Wednesday goal after his summer move from Huddersfield. Liam Palmer’s right wing cross was perfect for Kachunga as the DR Congo international powered a header into the net.
Dale rarely threatened Wildsmith’s goal with the Wednesday keeper a virtual spectator for the majority of the game. Alex Newby saw his low shot deflected on his home debut whilst Matty Done was too slow to pull the trigger when well placed; Liam Shaw bravely blocking the striker's shot.
Bazunu was inspired at times pulling off a string of fine saves and when he was beaten, a combination of poor efforts and the woodwork came to his rescue. Adam Reach was played in beautifully after a mistake by McNulty but the striker's side footed shot crashed back off the underside of the crossbar whilst Josh Windass was tee’d up well but he fluffed his lines when in front of goal.
Bazunu again pulled off a fine save to deny Windass a second goal of the season although he wouldn’t be denied for long.
A quickly taken free-kick on the right caught Dale napping and when the ball was played to Windass, who signed for Wednesday from Wigan earlier this month, he side footed a shot into the top corner.
The Championship side deserved their passage through to the third round although they may be disappointed the margin of victory wasn’t greater.
Rochdale's next game is against Portsmouth on Sunday 20 September. As this is a home fixture, Dale season card holders will be provided access to stream the game online:
Rochdale: Bazunu, O’Connell ©, Amankwah, McNulty, Keohane, Lund (Ryan 71), Morley, Rathbone, Done, Baah (Dooley 51), Newby (Tavares 80)
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Bradley, Brierley, Dunne
Sheff W: Wildsmith, Borner, Shaw, Brennan (Iorfa 80), Palmer ©, Odubajo, Hunt, Pelupessy (Grant 89), Dele-Bashiru, Reach, Kachunga (Windass 70)
Substitutes: (not used) Dawson, Penney, Hagan, Waldock
Referee: Mr S Stockbridge
Assistants: Mr A Dallison & Mr R Akin
Fourth Official: Mr M Parry
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