Bradford City produced yet another inspiring display of determination and spirit to secure their place in the final of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.
Despite being defeated 2-1 at Villa Park, the 4-3 aggregate victory sees the Bantams become the first fourth-tier side in 50 years to reach the League Cup final.
After suffering a 3-1 loss in the first leg at Valley Parade, Aston Villa were not taking this game lightly, with Christian Benteke putting the home side ahead, before former shelf-stacker James Hanson levelled for Bradford, restoring their 2-goal advantage.
Even though substitute Andreas Weimann scored late on to win it for Villa on the night, they could not stop Phil Parkinson's side reaching their first final since their 1911 FA Cup victory.
Aston Villa began the better side, with forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Benteke testing Bradford keeper Matt Duke on numerous occasions inside the first 20 minutes.
The Villa pressure started to pay off when left-back Joe Bennett was allowed time and space to whip in a cross for Benteke to get between the defenders and flick the ball into the net.
Despite having struggled in the league this season, the Villians were looking more likely to double their lead, with goalkeeper Duke keeping Bradford’s hopes alive.
The second half looked to have started the same way the first period finished, with Aston Villa pressing heavily for another goal.
However, Hanson defied the run of play and buried a Gary Jones’ corner into the back of the net, something that is becoming a trademark of the League Two side.
Hanson’s eighth goal of the season seemed to have sprung some life into the Bantams’ fans, as they knew that the home side needed two goals to take the game to extra-time.
Yet, there was still hope for the Villians as Duke made his first mistake of the tie, coming out to meet the ball, only for Weimann to round him and put it into an empty net.
But despite a nervy ending, Bradford held on for an aggregate victory, which sees them travel to Wembley on 24th February, facing either European Champions Chelsea or Welsh side Swansea.
The final at Wembley not only allows Bradford the glorious opportunity to win some silverware, but the chance to be playing some of the top teams in Europe next season, as the victors will automatically be entered into the Europa League competition next season.
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