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banner Saturday, 16 February, 2002, 16:56 GMT
Ehiogu heads Boro home
Blackburn's Nils Eric Johansson holds off MIddlesbrough's Noel Whelan
Middlesbrough last reached the FA Cup Final in 1997
Middlesbrough 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
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Middlesbrough's central defensive pairing of Gareth Southgate and Ugo Ehiogu combined to send Steve McClaren's side into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

A game which looked destined to end in a goalless draw finally burst into life in the 87th minute when Ehiogu powered his header past Blackburn's Brad Friedel from a Southgate free-kick.

The referee had a bad, bad game
Blackburn manager Graeme Souness

The goal came a quarter of an hour after Blackburn's Lucas Neill was sent off for a professional foul on Robbie Stockdale.

Both sides are struggling to avoid relegation and their poor league form - Blackburn have lost their last four games - showed as the two teams found it difficult to link their passes.

  Match facts
44 mins: Henning Berg clears Noel Whelan's lob off the line
72 mins: Lucas Neill is sent off for a professional foul on Robbie Stockdale
87 mins: An Ugo Ehiogu header finally breaks the deadlock

It was 29 minutes before either side managed a shot on target and Stockdale had to manufacture the chance for himself.

He skipped inside one lunge and struck a powerful drive from 20 yards but it was at the perfect height for Brad Friedel, and straight at him too.

Nine minutes before the break, Henning Berg managed to chalk up Blackburn's first effort of any description.

If it had happened to us I would be the same as Graeme - incensed.
Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren

His header from Hignett's corner was on target but was blocked by Schwarzer's legs.

A minute before the break, Rovers were thankful to Berg as he saved a certain goal.

Stockdale's pass released Noel Whelan and with Friedel in no man's land, the Boro striker lobbed him expertly.

But Berg got back to hook the ball clear as it bounced towards the goal.

After a half of unmitigating tedium, McClaren introduced Alen Boksic and Szilard Nemeth at the start of the second half and their arrival brought a new dynamism to Boro.

Middlesbrough's Gareth Southgate jumps with Blackburn's Andy Cole
Gareth Southgate created Ugo Ehiogu's goal

Immediately after the restart Nemeth dribbled his way to the byeline and Friedel did well to cut out the Slovakian's cross before it reached Robbie Mustoe.

Rovers boss Graeme Souness attempted to shake some life into his attack by bringing on Matt Jansen for Damien Duff.

Jansen has only just recovered from a hip injury, but he showed no sign of it as he sent a glancing header past the post from a Craig Hignett free-kick.

Late on, Mustoe should have done better when he blasted over from close range.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Stockdale, Ehiogu, Southgate, Queudrue, Marinelli (Murphy 70), Ince, Mustoe, Wilson (Nemeth 45), Whelan, Windass (Boksic 45).
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Wilkshire.

Blackburn: Friedel, Taylor, Short, Berg (Douglas 56), Neill, Gillespie (Hughes 88), Tugay, Johansson, Hignett, Duff (Jansen 62), Cole.
Subs Not Used: Curtis, Robinson.

Sent Off: Neill (72).

Booked: Cole, Berg, Hignett, Jansen.

Attendance: 20,921.

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

BBC Sport's John Murray
"A poor match, but Middlesbrough progress"
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
"We don't think it was a sending-off"
Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer
"For us, all that matters is the result"
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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