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First team

Begovic is Cherries' Carabao Cup hero

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Asmir Begovic quickly went from villain to hero as AFC Bournemouth progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup following a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Crystal Palace.

Begovic, who saw his spot-kick saved by opposite number Wayne Hennessey with the score at 10-10, then kept out Luka Miliojevic’s effort to send Jason Tindall’s team through at 11-10.

Hennessey himself had spurned a glorious opportunity to win it for the Eagles, the stopper blazing his penalty high into the Ted MacDougall Stand after Begovic had missed.

The shootout went to sudden death after both teams had converted all five of their spot-kicks with David Brooks, Sam Surridge, Philip Billing, Lloyd Kelly and Dom Solanke on target for the Cherries and Milivojevic, Michy Batshuayi, Andros Townsend, Ebere Eze and Jordan Ayew replying for the visitors.

Jack Simpson, Dan Gosling, Jefferson Lerma, Nnamdi Ofoborh and Jordan Zemura also found the back of the net, as did Max Meyer, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Kelly, Ryan Inniss and Jaroslaw Jach for Palace.

But after both goalkeepers had missed, Begovic pulled off a top-drawer save to kept out Milivojevic’s effort to set up a third round trip to holders Manchester City a week on Thursday.

Ofoborh and Zemura were both handed their AFC Bournemouth debuts as boss Tindall made a raft of changes following Saturday’s 3-2 win over Blackburn in the Championship.

The academy graduates were joined in the starting line-up by Begovic, Simpson, Harry Arter, Billing, Brooks and Surridge.

Jack Stacey, Lewis Cook and Kelly, who donned the captain’s armband, all kept their places having featured in the Cherries’ eventful curtain-raiser against Rovers.

Jaidon Anthony, who last month helped Weymouth win promotion to the National League, was named among the Cherries substitutes with no fewer than seven members of the matchday squad having progressed through the club’s youth ranks.  

Ofoborh, 20, a Nigeria under-20 international, enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with Wycombe in League One last season, helping the Chairboys win promotion to the Championship through the play-offs.

Zemura (pictured above arriving at Vitality Stadium), who qualifies through his parents to play for Zimbabwe, starred as the Cherries reached the last 16 of the Premier League Cup last season.

Goalkeeper Begovic played his first game for the club since April 2019, while Arter, who featured in the Republic of Ireland’s Nations League clash with Finland last week, made his first Cherries appearance since January 2018, some 972 days.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson made ten changes following their 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday with new loan signing Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea named in the Eagles starting line-up.

Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested in the early stages as the two teams shared equal spells of possession between their respective 18-yard boxes.

Wayne Hennessey saved comfortably from Arter’s tame effort as the first shot on target arrived in the tenth minute.

Another speculative strike from Arter was clutched by Hennessey before Begovic was forced to turn Nya Kirby’s 20th-minute effort past the upright.

Zemura embarked on a mazy run to the edge of the Palace box but Sam Surridge’s return pass following an attempted one-two was smothered by Hennessey.

Arter felt the full force of a boot to the shin from Batshuayi, the Palace man catching the Cherries midfielder as he prepared to take aim on Begovic’s goal.

Although the hosts forced a number of corners, Palace defended well and protected Hennessey, Jack Simpson heading wide from their seventh flag-kick in the 30th minute.

Just two minutes later, Surridge converted after being slipped in by David Brooks but the frontman's effort was ruled out for a hairline offside decision.

Arter’s interception led to the Cherries mounting a swift counter-attack but Brooks fired narrowly wide after latching on to Surridge’s pass in the 38th minute.

And as play switched to the opposite end, the Cherries had a let-off when Kirby failed to make good contact with Jeffrey Schlupp’s low, driven cross.

Max Meyer’s 20-yarder was charged down at the start of the second half before Brooks’s strike was deflected for a corner which was cleared.

Simpson climbed highest to meet Brooks’s corner in the 50th minute but the defender was unable to keep his header down and it sailed over the crossbar.

Brooks was unfortunate to run into a wall of defenders following some neat footwork on the edge of the box as Palace stood firm at the back.

As the Cherries continued to probe, Stacey’s effort was blocked by Sam Woods before a drive from Arter following a free-kick was also beaten away.

A double substitution by the visitors saw Woods and Schlupp replaced by Jordan Ayew and Mamadou Sakho on the hour.

Stacey drew a fine reaction save from Hennessey after taking aim from inside the 18-yard box, the defender’s final contribution before he was replaced by Jefferson Lerma in the 62nd minute.

Arter’s crisp volley from 20 yards fizzed over the crossbar after Brooks’s free-kick had only been half cleared by the Palace defence.

Palace substitute Andros Townsend tried his luck from distance, his hopeful 30-yarder failing to trouble Begovic as it flew over the top in the 73rd minute.

Arter made way for Dominic Solanke seven minutes from time, the striker quickly into the action when his rasping drive struck Palace defender Ryan Inniss.

Ofoborh drilled a right-foot shot past the angle of post and crossbar after being teed up by Brooks before Martin Kelly received the first booking of the contest for fouling Zemura in stoppage time.

Referee Keith Stroud brought proceedings to a close after three minutes of added time, with the tie going straight to penalties.

With the first 20 spot kicks all successfully scored - each outfield player finding the net - the two goalkeepers both missed theirs.

The second time round in the shootout ended more quickly, however, Brooks scoring before Begovic saved from Milivojevic as the Cherries progressed.  

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