espite being rock bottom of League 1, Coventry City defeated Oxford United at Wembley in their first return to the home of English Football for 30 years since their FA Cup triumph in 1987.
Oxford, who are in with a shout of the playoffs in League 1 this season, went into the game as favourites, but it was Coventry who took the lead after just 11 minutes when a fortunate bounce of the ball in the Oxford penalty area allowed Bigirimana to slot the ball into the corner of the Oxford net from no more that 8 yards, giving the goalkeeper no chance in the process.
Oxford were dominating possession in the game but seemed to be going more sideways than forwards at times, to the frustration of the Oxford fans.
Coventry went into the interval 1-0 up, but Oxford were keen to get back into the game. However, those hopes were dealt a major blow when George Thomas’s superb half volley from the edge of the box found the corner of the Oxford net 15 minutes into the 2nd half. Thomas’ man of the match performance was excellent and his goal will go down in Wembley history as a great goal!
Oxford were now really up against it, so manager Michael Appleton made an immediate change by bringing on Liam Sercombe. A player that several Oxford fans think should have started the game.
Sercombe pulled a goal back for the yellow with 15 minutes to go as his shot went through a crowd of players and into the back of the Coventry net.
Oxford then threw everything at Coventry in the last quarter of an hour, and Sercombe had clearly given Oxford the boost they required, but Coventry held on to send their 43,000 travelling fans into dreamland!
It could have been very different though, and it took a superb save low to his left from Coventry keeper Burge in stoppage time to deny Oxford an equaliser and prevent the game going into extra time.
Sadly for Oxford it was their 2nd Wembley defeat in a row in the same competition after they were beaten 3-2 by Barnsley last season.
Oxford can now focus on trying to get into the playoffs, whereas Coventry need to try and save themselves from relegation into League 2. Currently 11 points from safety, it’s going to be a tall order indeed, but at least they can go back home with some long awaited silverware!