Apparently Tottenham Hotspur versus Hull City was saving up all of its interesting-ness for the Capital One Cup. The midweek fixture was much more exciting than the weekend, but that's mostly because the only thing of note that happened the last time these two sides played was a contentious penalty that won the game for Spurs.
This time out we got, if nothing else, a spectacular strike from Gylfi Sigurdsson to treasure forevermore. In the 16th minute, the Iceland international took a pass from Kyle Naughton, pulling it back with his first touch before spinning and striking the ball so cleanly that Eldin Jakupovic would have had his hand taken off had he tried to save it. Wisely, the goalkeeper could only stare in enraptured (if fleeting) admiration as Spurs took the lead.
Said lead didn't last very long into the second half. The visitors had an astounding stroke of good fortune to make up for their bad luck on the weekend -- after the chance to equalise following a flowing attacking move was well and truly botched by Curtis Davies, who, unmarked and presented with an open goal, met Liam Rosenior's inviting delivery with a thoroughly mis-hit shot.That shot then hit Brad Friedel in the back and trickled into the goal to make it 1-1.
The match then settled into a stalemate. Extra time seemed increasingly inevitable, although the prospect of free half-hour of football was put under threat by the introduction of Harry Kane, who had a goal disallowed thanks to Jermain Defoe's handball before being denied by the woodwork in the dying seconds of normal time.
Spurs might have come closest to breaking the deadlock before full time, but it was Hull who scored in extras. The visitors had been putting Tottenham under pressure, winning a series of corners, and eventually that pressure was bound to tell. Paul McShane met one of them with a thumping header right down the middle, and his effort was hit with such venom that Friedel couldn't keep it out despite getting a hand on the ball.
Mohamed Gedo had a fantastic chance to put the game away 107 minutes in, but couldn't keep his shot on target after being played clean through on Friedel's goal. Hull were made to regret that miss instantly. Kane, who had come so close to putting Spurs into the quarterfinals in normal time, cut inside, working space for a shot before slotting a 20-yard daisy-cutter into the far corner with Jakupovic helpless.
2-2 after extra time meant penalty kicks. And in this case, it meant a lot of penalty kicks. A miss apiece in the opening round (from Erik Lamela and Aaron Mclean) meant that the game went all the way to sudden death, and somehow everyone's nerves held for three rounds of perfect shooting. Then Kyle Walker scored. Then Ahmed Elmohamedy didn't.
After a long, strange night of football, Tottenham Hotspur are in the League Cup quarterfinals.