Owen Coyle hails Bolton spirit after FA Cup thriller
Bolton boss thrilled with his side's grit after thrilling win over Birmingham City seals Wembley date
Owen Coyle heaped praise on his Bolton Wanderers side’s determination after they edged an enticing clash with Birmingham City to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.
Coyle’s visitors twice threw away the lead before substitute Chong Yong-Lee struck a last-gasp winner to book a semi-final date at Wembley next month.
The Bolton manager was thrilled with his side’s fighting spirit at St Andrews. He said: “Both teams went all out to book their place in the semi-final and we showed great character and determination to claim the victory.
“We have to give great credit to Birmingham because they kept coming back.
“Having got 2-1 in front, we should have scored a third with the chances that we created, but then you get Kevin Phillips doing what he does best by magnificently converting what seemed like a half-chance.
“However, we picked ourselves up to get the winning goal. It was a great knock-down by the skipper and a super finish by Chung-Yong.”
Johan Elmander opened the scoring after 21 minutes when the Sweden international drove a ferocious shot past Birmingham’s goalkeeper Ben Foster.
But Cameron Jerome equalised for the home side eight minutes before half-time when he capitalised on a David Wheater’s poor clearance and placed his effort past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The visitors took the lead again after the break through Kevin Davies’s spot-kick after Curtis Davies had fouled the Bolton captain but Kevin Phillips soon levelled matters once again when the former Sunderland striker sublimely lobbed Jaaskelainen from 20 yards.
Chung-Yong grabbed the winner one minute from time when he evaded the attentions of Liam Ridgewell and Curtis Davies to nod home Kevin Davies’s knock-down and book Bolton’s place in the semis.