John Egan and Megan Connolly through to FA Cup semi-finals 

John Egan and Megan Connolly through to FA Cup semi-finals 

Sheffield United's John Egan applauds the fans following the Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

TWO Cork footballers are dreaming of FA Cup glory as John Egan and Megan Connolly won their retrospective semi-finals at the weekend.

Sheffield United beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 and Brighton & Hove Albion defeated Birmingham City 2-0, and now both teams are 90 minutes away from the biggest day on the English football calendar.

The Blades will now face Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, and they are dreaming of a first FA Cup final in 87 years.

Brighton, who were founded in 1991, have never made it to the final stage of the competition. 

The semi-final draw has yet to be made and they could play Aston Villa, Chelsea, or Manchester United.

Egan played the full 90 minutes at Bramall Lane, a game that was decided by a goal from Tommy Doyle in the first minute of added time.

This followed a chaotic quarter final that began with Ben Brereton Díaz giving Blackburn the lead with a penalty in the 21st minute. 

The Blades’ response came from a long shot by Max Lowe that deflected off Sam Gallagher and went in.

They were only behind for seven minutes, but Blackburn went back in front through Sammie Szmodics on the hour mark. 

Megan Connolly of Ireland
Megan Connolly of Ireland

The Blades dominated possession during their push for an equaliser and their moment came when Oli McBurnie beat three defenders and fired into the opposite bottom corner.

Doyle gave Sheffield United the win with a driven shot from outside the box that sailed into the top left corner.

It was described as a cup encounter for the ages, and Egan was in the middle of all the action. 

This is typical of the season the defender is having, especially in the FA Cup, as he scored a last second equaliser to force a replay against Wrexham last February.

Sheffield United will now play in the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2014, when they lost 5-3 to Hull City at Wembley.

Connolly had a far more comfortable afternoon as Brighton took a two goal lead into the half-time break at St. Andrew's Stadium in Birmingham. The first came from a Poppy Pattinson corner that floated in, and Danielle Carter doubled their lead with a penalty after Brianna Visalli was tripped in the box.

The victory was a relief to everyone associated with Brighton as they are currently second from bottom in the FA Women’s Super League and there is a real chance of relegation to the FA Women’s Championship.

The Seagulls are currently eleventh in the table and they are a point ahead of basement side Leicester City.

Brighton are also without a manager since Jens Scheuer left his position after just two months in charge.

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