League One side Lincoln City shocked Sheffield United 3-2 on penalties to oust the Premier League club from the Carabao Cup in the second round at Bramall Lane.
Captain John Egan missed the Blades’ final penalty of the shootout after strikers Louie Marsh and Benie Traore had their spot-kicks saved by 6ft 6in goalkeeper Lukas Jensen, sending the Imps through in front of the ecstatic away end.
“It’s the best feeling,” said Jensen, who did not make an appearance during a four-year spell at Burnley before joining Lincoln in June.
“I don’t think you can describe it – you have to be in the moment. All the feelings and emotions came out.
“Big credit to my goalkeeper coach. I think they nicked my bottle, so I couldn’t see where they were going to shoot.
“To do it in front of all our fans on that side is an amazing feeling – to have 3,000 fans cheering and celebrating with us after the game. All the credit should go to the team.”
The shootout victory came after the sides were goalless after 90 minutes and rewarded an impressively organised defensive display from Mark Kennedy’s side, who said they would not fear opponents two divisions above them and were rarely troubled despite the hosts dominating possession.
Unbeaten in five games in all competitions as part of a run that had moved them two points off the top of League One, Lincoln showed their confidence by producing the only accurate attempt of the first half through full debutant Alex Mitchell, whose effort was gathered by Adam Davies.
United manager Paul Heckingbottom saw his players command 75% of the ball in the first half but struggle to create danger, Ollie Norwood resorting to an audacious long-range effort that cleared the crossbar.
Cameron Archer – making his debut after signing from Aston Villa for £18m – twice called Jensen into action after half-time as part of an energetic display that stood out in a flat United performance which leaves them still seeking a first win after four games of the season.
Heckingbottom made changes after the break, sending on two attackers in summer singing Traore and 19-year-old Marsh in place of Oli McBurnie and winger Andre Brooks.
Three 20-year-olds – Femi Seriki, Jili Buyabu and William Osula – also came on within 20 minutes of the restart in an attempt to inject some much-needed energy after Teddy Bishop almost broke through for the visitors.
Bishop, who had his penalty saved by Davies, had already threatened following his half-time introduction in place of Ben House, but Egan should have scored with a free header as penalties loomed, then sent his penalty over the crossbar.
“I felt good, and then after their second penalty I felt even better,” said 24-year-old Dane Jensen. “It all worked out.
“I must have done something right to put the pressure on [Egan] to put it over the bar. He tried to smash it and it didn’t work.
“When I saw it went over, I turned around and celebrated with all the fans. To see that many here is unbelievable.”
United return to Premier League action on Saturday at home to Everton, while Lincoln visit 17th-placed Bristol Rovers on the same day in the third tier.
- 20BogleSubstituted forSerikiat 63′minutes
- 17CoulibalyBooked at 56mins
- 35BrooksSubstituted forMarshat 45′minutes
- 27LarouciSubstituted forBuyabuat 63′minutes
- 9McBurnieSubstituted forTraoréat 45′minutes
- 10ArcherSubstituted forOsulaat 63′minutes
- 25Ben Slimane
- 22EyomaBooked at 78mins
- 23RoughanSubstituted forJacksonat 66′minutes
- 16BurroughsBooked at 74mins
- 8SmithSubstituted forHamiltonat 81′minutes
- 6ErhahonBooked at 77mins
- 3BrownSubstituted forSørensenat 67′minutes
- 7Hackett-FairchildSubstituted forMakamaat 80′minutes
- 18HouseSubstituted forBishopat 45′minutes
- Paul Tierney
Match ends, Sheffield United 0(2), Lincoln City 0(3).
Penalty Shootout ends, Sheffield United 0(2), Lincoln City 0(3).
Penalty missed! Bad penalty by John Egan (Sheffield United) right footed shot is high and wide to the left. John Egan should be disappointed.
Goal! Sheffield United 0(2), Lincoln City 0(3). Lasse Sørensen (Lincoln City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty saved! Bénie Traoré (Sheffield United) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.
Goal! Sheffield United 0(2), Lincoln City 0(2). Ethan Hamilton (Lincoln City) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.
Goal! Sheffield United 0(2), Lincoln City 0(1). William Osula (Sheffield United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty saved! Teddy Bishop (Lincoln City) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the centre of the goal.
Penalty saved! Louie Marsh (Sheffield United) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.
Goal! Sheffield United 0(1), Lincoln City 0(1). Daniel Mândroiu (Lincoln City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.
Goal! Sheffield United 0(1), Lincoln City 0. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty Shootout begins Sheffield United 0, Lincoln City 0.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, Lincoln City 0.
Corner, Lincoln City. Conceded by Auston Trusty.
Attempt saved. Auston Trusty (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Jack Burroughs.
Attempt missed. Louie Marsh (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jili Buyabu with a cross.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Adam Jackson.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Alex Mitchell.
Attempt blocked. William Osula (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.