Brighton & Hove Albion and Hull City will have to meet again next Monday after a late goal from Yannick Sagbo earned a replay for the Tigers.
It looked as though a first-half strike from Leonardo Ulloa was going to be enough for the hosts to progress, and set up a tasty looking quarter-final tie with Sunderland.
But Steve Bruce’s side weathered the storm to keep themselves in the game, and were rewarded with less than five minutes remaining when Sagbo fired home in front of 600 relieved City fans.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Hull City
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With Sunderland awaiting the winners in the Sixth Round, there was incentive for both clubs with Black Cats boss Gus Poyet having left the Amex Stadium job under something of a cloud last summer.
And Bruce had a spell in charge at the Stadium Of Light himself, so would undoubtedly relish the opportunity to face them on home soil.
That will decided in seven days, after what was a fairly intense and tight affair throughout on the south coast where Championship high-fliers Brighton will feel unfortunate that they couldn’t hold on in what was perhaps their best chance of progressing.
They began the game well with Will Buckley, in his first start since the turn of the year, looking lively on the right and it was his cross which led to the first chance of the game, only for Jake Forster-Caskey to acrobatically volley well over the bar.
But after a slow start, the visitors began to work their way back into the contest with some long spells of possession and the game came to life just shy of the half-hour mark.
Firstly, Sagbo superby swivelled in the box to volley against the bar from Ahmed Elmohamady’s centre.
And if that was unfortunate for Hull, two minutes later they fell behind as a swift breakaway from Brighton saw Buckley place a pass into the path of Ulloa. The Argentine striker raced clear and drew Allan McGregor, before calmly clipping into the net.
Hull could have found themselves back level almost immediately though, as Curtis Davies crashed a powerful header against the post from Elmohamady’s corner before Sagbo’s follow-up was saved on the line by Peter Brezovan.
Ulloa really should have doubled Brighton’s lead just seconds before the break, when he was left completely unmarked at the far post to meet Buckley’s deep cross. But with the goal at his mercy from six yards out, he guided his header inches wide of the post.
With no real sign of the game changing in the second half, Bruce made an attacking double-switch with just over 20 minutes remaining with George Boyd and Matty Fryatt introduced in a bid to rescue their FA Cup campaign.
And it paid dividends in the 86th minute when Sone Aluko’s cross picked out Sagbo, who controlled in an instant before drilling a low shot through Brezovan’s legs and into the back of the net.
City could have won it in stoppage time too, as Bruce’s third sub David Meyler climbed highest in the box to direct a header at goal, only for Forster-Caskey to clear off the line.
Brighton will perhaps feel hard done by not to have held on for victory, but City will be more than happy to have escaped from the south coast with their name still in the hat.
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-1-4-1): 1 Peter Brezovan; 14 Inigo Calderon (C), 5 Lewis Dunk, 20 Matthew Upson, 15 Adam Chicksen; 38 Rohan Ince, 4 Keith Andrews, 18 Jake Forster-Caskey, 25 Kazenga LuaLua (9 David Rodriguez, 90), 30 Will Buckley (27 Solly March, 46); 19 Leonardo Ulloa (22 Jonathan Obika, 78).
Substitutes not used: 16 Casper Ankergren, 2 Bruno Saltor, 3 Gordon Greer, 21 David Lopez.
Head Coach: Oscar Garcia
Goals: Leonardo Ulloa (30)
Cautions: Adam Chicksen (61)
Hull City (4-1-3-2): 1 Allan McGregor; 3 Maynor Figueroa, 6 Curtis Davies, 23 Abdoulaye Faye (12 Matt Fryatt, 67); 27 Ahmed Elmohamady; 8 Tom Huddlestone, 10 Robert Koren (C), 14 Jake Livermore (7 David Meyler, 82), 29 Stephen Quinn (17 George Boyd, 66); 20 Yannick Sagbo, 24 Sone Aluko.
Substitutes not used: 22 Steve Harper, 4 Alex Bruce, 5 James Chester, 30 Connor Henderson.
Manager: Steve Bruce
Goals: Yannick Sagbo (86)
Cautions: Sone Aluko (37), Robert Koren (57)
Referee: Lee Probert
Assistant referees: Peter Kirkup & David Bryan
Fourth official: Lee Collins