SEAMUS COLEMAN took to twitter to apologise to Everton’s fans for giving away the late free-kick that led to Liverpool’s Andy Carroll scoring the winning goal in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.
The Killybegs native came on as a 68th minute substitute for Magaye Gueye with the score at 1-1 in front of 87,231 supporters. Everton took the lead as early as the 21st minute when Nikica Jelavic seized on a defensive mix-up between Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher before Liverpool’s Suiz Suarez levelled after making the most of an underhit Sylvian Distin backpass on 62 minutes.
Former St Catherine’s and Sligo Rovers player Coleman was booked for deliberate handball and then was a touch fortunate to stay on the field for upending Steven Gerrard four minutes from time. However, from the resultant free-kick from Craig Bellamy, Carroll headed home an 87th minute winner for Kenny Dalglish’s team. Liverpool will take on Chelsea, who hammered Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 in the other semi-final, in the final on May 5.
Coleman tweeted: “Really bad decision by me to give the free kick away. I apologise to all the fans who made there way to wembley! Sorry.”
The result means Coleman misses out on becoming only the second ever Donegal man to play in the FA Cup final. His Republic of Ireland teammate Shay Given remains the only man born in the county to feature in the FA Cup final when he kept goal for Newcastle United in their 2-0 loss against Arsenal in 1998. The Lifford native was a substitute one year later as Steve Harper kept goal in the final when goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes clinched the second leg of Manchester United’s famous treble.