Luis Boa Morte made both goals as Fulham elbowed Everton out of the FA Cup after extra-time in an enthralling fourth round replay at Loftus Road tonight. The Portuguese winger shrugged the controversy after he accused Duncan Ferguson of racially abusing him in the initial tie between the sides to turn in arguably his most complete performance of the season and set up a last-sixteen showdown with West Ham United.
Boa Morte was irrepressible throughout – Fulham’s most potent threat as he roamed from his usual left wing position – setting up Junichi Inamoto’s thunderbolt that opened the scoring and then making Steed Malbranque’s winner five minutes into extra time. Everton paid the penalty for failing to capitalise on Francis Jeffers’ late equaliser – his second dramatic intervention after forcing the replay with a leveller at Goodison Park – with the former England striker missing an simple chance to win the game in stoppage time.
The injured Ferguson missed on a fiery reunion with Boa Morte but Lee Carsley set the tone for a tempestuous affair with two robust challenges on the ex-Arsenal winger, which referee Paul Durkin left unpunished. There was also acrimonious confrontation between Wayne Rooney and a Fulham fan after the teenage forward tumbled over the advertising hoardings which added to the drama of a Cup classic.
David Moyes’ side made the brighter start with Rooney passing up a good chance to give the Toffees’ the lead and Tomasz Radzinski striking the post. Boa Morte nearly punished the away side on 24 minutes when he surged onto a through ball from Inamoto but slipped at the vital moment, spooning his shot just wide. Sean Davis almost reprised his goalscoring role from the original meeting between the sides but drove an effort inches off target. Everton came on strongly again at the end of the half, with Radzinski rattling the woodwork, and then crossing for Rooney, whose header was acrobatically cleared off the line by Carlos Bocanegra.
Davis came the closest of all in stoppage time with a rasping drive that was magnificently pushed aside by Nigel Martyn at full stretch. The gripping action resumed after half time with Moritz Volz arriving in the nick of time to prevent Kevin Kilbane from putting Everton ahead. In one absorbing passage of play, Martyn pushed out a powerful shot from Barry Hayles allowing his side to break from the back with Radzinski narrowly failing to find the corner at the end of an electric move.
Fulham took the lead ten minutes into the second period with Boa Morte to the fore. The unpredictable winger waltzed away from three challengers and invited Inamoto to shoot from 22 yards, with Japanese midfielder firing an unstoppable finish beyond Martyn into the bottom corner. Everton went in search of an equaliser with Steve Watson’s drive drifting wide and Thomas Gravesen going close with a header, before grabbing another late, late equaliser.
Gravesen headed a high ball back into the box and Jeffers – again introduced as a substitute by Moyes – soared majestically to glance a lovely header past van der Sar from the edge of the six-yard box. But the on-loan Arsenal striker then went from hero to villain as he spurned a glorious chance, somehow heading wide from two yards out after Kilbane had flicked on. Jeffers’ misfortune continued in extra time as he looked destined to put the away side in front after breezing away from Moritz Volz but cleared the crossbar as he attempted to chip van der Sar.
Boa Morte and Malbranque combined to punish Everton six minutes later. The winger worked space for himself brilliantly on the right side of the penalty area and supplied an inch-perfect cross for Malbranque to fire past the unfortunate Martyn, who very nearly kept the shot out, and restore Fulham’s lead. Boa Morte definitely deserved a goal of his own but he was brilliantly denied by the veteran Everton goalkeeper in the second half of extra time.
FULHAM (4-3-3): van der Sar; Volz, Bocanegra, Knight, Goma; Djetou, Davis, Inamoto (Petta 97); Malbranque, Boa Morte, Hayles (Sava 81). Subs (not used): Crossley, Rehman, Green.
GOALS: Inamoto (57), Malbranque (102).
EVERTON (4-4-2): Martyn; Pistone, Unsworth, Naysmith, Hibbert; Kilbane, Gravesen, Carsley, Nyarko (Watson 62); Rooney, Radzinski (Jeffers 63). Subs (not used): Simonsen, Clarke, Linderoth.
GOAL: Jeffers (90).
REFEREE: Paul Durkin (Dorset).