Date: 18th February 2017 at 10:07pm
Written by: Vital Boro

Substitute Cristhian Stuani scored a late winner after Middlesbrough had allowed a two-goal advantage to slip against League One opponents Oxford United in the FA Cup fifth round.

Grant Leadbitter’s penalty and Rudy Gestede’s spectacular finish had seen them firmly in charge at the interval, until Chris Maguire and Toni Martinez struck in quick succession during the second-half.

The visitors had wasted an immediate chance when Brad Guzan saved from Martinez with Kane Hemmings already up in support, while Gestede’s replying header was blocked by goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.

Boro midfielder Leadbitter’s effort then glanced the top of the crossbar and Stewart Downing also struck wide. The former England winger then drove into the area and was caught by Maguire – with Leadbitter confidently despatching the penalty.

Hemmings soon had the ball in the opposite net but it was disallowed for an earlier foul, although there was no argument when Adama Traore knocked back Fabio’s deep cross and Gestede lashed in his first goal for the club.

Keeper Eastwood next turned aside from Downing, who also shot wide following the break; until Maguire curled a 64th minute free-kick past Guzan to reduce the deficit.

Sixty seconds later Maguire’s shot was only blocked by the American keeper and Martinez seized upon the rebound to level.

Conor McAleny then struck wide for the visitors when set up by substitute Liam Sercombe before Boro replacement Stuani finally tapped in an 86th minute winner at the far post.

Middlesbrough: Guzan, Chambers, Bernardo, Ayala, Fabio, Leadbitter, Clayton, Downing, Traore (Stuani 72), Gestede (Negredo 86), Fischer (Ramirez 72)

subs (unused): Gibson, de Roon, Bamford, Valdes

Goals: Leadbitter (pen 26), Gestede (34), Stuani (86)

Oxford United: Eastwood, Edwards, Nelson, Dunkley, Johnson, Ledson, Lundstram, Maguire, Hall, Hemmings (McAleny 67), Martinez (Sercombe 85)

subs (unused): Skarz, Ruffels, Rothwell, Raglan, Agboola

Goals: Maguire (64), Martinez (65)

Ref: A. Marriner

Att: 28,198


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