Last-gasp Ilunga denies Boro

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Herita Ilunga headed a late goal as West Ham drew 1-1 against Middlesbrough at Upton Park to earn a replay in their FA Cup fifth-round clash.

Boro had led through Stewart Downing's first goal of the season and Gareth Southgate's men looked good value for their lead until Ilunga struck.

The Congo defender has a taste for the cup - both his goals this campaign have come in the competition and it keeps alive Gianfranco Zola's hopes of winning the trophy as a manager.

Zola had FA Cup pedigree as a player, winning it twice with Chelsea and beating Boro at Wembley both times, including getting the better of Boro boss Gareth Southgate in the 2000 final.

It was Downing who helped create the first chance, after Jack Collison lost the ball. Downing raced down the left flank, his cross was cleared as far as Adam Johnson and the midfielder dragged his shot wide.

Another mistake, this time from David Di Michele, led to another Boro chance after 11 minutes. Didier Digard cut inside from the left and offloaded to Downing, whose shot from 20 yards went just past Robert Green's upright.

The Hammers finally got into their stride and Di Michele failed to connect with a scissor-kick, James Collins forced a save with a long-range drive and a handball shout against David Wheater was turned down.

Despite the encouraging attacks, it was Boro who took the lead in the 22nd minute. Gary O'Neil picked the ball up on the right flank and curled in a dangerous ball that Matthew Upson missed and James Collins managed to allow to bounce through his legs, leaving Downing to stoop down and head home.

West Ham attempted to reply and a dipping volley from Di Michele was just off target - but they received another blow when in-form England striker Carlton Cole was forced off with an ankle injury. Diego Tristan came on.

Di Michele missed a glorious chance when Ilunga crossed and the Italian skied the finish, but the leveller came after Savio Nsereko, on as a substitute, swung over a free-kick with seven minutes left and Ilunga headed in at the far post after Collins flicked on.

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Carlton Cole
Matthew Upson
Stewart Downing
Gary O'Neil
Premier League
Gareth Southgate
Gianfranco Zola
Jack Collison
David Wheater
James Collins
Didier Digard
Robert Green
West Ham United
Adam Johnson

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