History shows Al-Hilal should relish underdog status in Japan

Brighton, UK: Brighton exacted sweet revenge for their defeat to Manchester United on penalties in the FA Cup semi-finals on Thursday as Alexis McAllister scored from the spot in the dying seconds to seal a 1-0 win.

Classy Brighton dominated in possession, but it wasn’t until Luke Shaw’s handball deep in injury time that they had a chance to take all three points.

The Seagulls beat United 2–1 in their first match of the season but suffered a painful defeat in the previous month’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on spot kicks.

The result leaves United in fourth place in the Premier League with five games to play – four points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool, while Brighton – seeking to qualify for Europe for the first time in their history Now in sixth place.

Both the teams squandered clear chances in the opening minutes of an engrossing encounter at the Amex Stadium.

Bruno Fernandes found himself on target in the second minute when Brazilian winger Antony fired wide.

Two minutes later, Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma at the other end intercepted a careless ball across the defense and broke into the box before shooting goalkeeper David de Gea in the face.

The lively Mitoma danced into the area again in the 13th minute, putting United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka under immense pressure but was unable to finish.

The home side, high on confidence after a 6–0 win against Wolves, were enjoying great possession but United looked dangerous on the break.

The impressive Marcus Rashford fired in from a tight angle which Brighton goalkeeper Jason Steele did well to keep out at his near post.

Argentine World Cup winner McAllister leapt forward but fired his shot wide of De Gea’s goal and Julio Enciso also pulled a shot wide after another lightning strike.

Anthony Martial fired straight at the steel after a decisive move at the other end.

Brighton ended a half in which there were 17 shots from the strong side but neither side could break the deadlock.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side were on top again in the early stages of the second half, forcing United to be patient as they held the ball.

But Mitoma and Danny Welbeck were guilty of wasting openings.

Fernandes had a chance midway through the second half which Steele grabbed before Antony was booked for a rash tackle.

The game got worse as United relegated, who were struggling to find flow.

Substitute Solly March fired wide after a driving run from midfield in the closing stages.

In the 90th minute, De Gea dived to his right to keep out a McAllister attack and puffed out his cheeks comfortably.

But the home side had one final chance after VAR intervention saw Luke Shaw penalized for handball and McAllister made no mistake, volleying the ball into the net.