Stoke City will play in English soccer’s F.A. Cup final for the first time after a 5-0 win over Bolton Wanderers yesterday at Wembley Stadium in London.
Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth, Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Walters (two) scored for the Potters, who will face Manchester City in the Wembley final on May 14. City defeated Manchester United 1-0 two days ago in the other semifinal.
“We wanted to achieve something this year,” Walters told ESPN. “It was a tough game but we did really well from back to front.”
Both teams had early chances yesterday, Walters forcing a save from Jussi Jaaskelainen, then Martin Petrov had a shot deflected wide.
Stoke took an 11th-minute lead, Etherington curling a 20- yard shot into the net after four-time F.A. Cup winner Bolton gave away possession in defense.
Six minutes later, Huth volleyed past Jaaskelainen to double Stoke’s advantage and after 30 minutes the lead was 3-0. Jermaine Pennant stole possession and slipped the ball to Jones to score.
Walters ended any hopes of a Bolton comeback after 68 minutes with the fourth goal, adding another goal 13 minutes later.
Bolton had been aiming for its first appearance in the final for 53 years since winning the title in 1958. Stoke was making only its fourth semifinal appearance.
“We are used to being the underdogs,” Etherington told ESPN. “The manager said that before the game and we will be the underdogs in the final as well. Bring it on.”