Birmingham beaten as Liam Sercombe earns upset for Oxford
Liam Sercombe was Oxford's goalscoring hero as he grabbed the extra-time winner to knock Birmingham out of the EFL Cup with a 1-0 victory at St. Andrew's.
Sercombe was positioned perfectly at the far post to head home a left-wing cross two minutes from time and it was a worthy success as newly-promoted Oxford certainly gave the Championship team a run for their money with a battling display.
Birmingham made six changes from the side held to a goalless home draw by Cardiff and ran up against some resolute opposition which gained in confidence the longer the game went on.
Birmingham gave teenage striker Jack Storer an opportunity to show his promise but he was given few opportunities to shine by Aaron Martin.
A bonus for Birmingham was the promising performance of another teenager, Josh Dacres-Cogley. He gave a mature display in the back four with his confident defending.
For long spells Birmingham dominated the goalless first half but their finishing was again a major drawback.
Viv Solomon-Otabor had a lot of possession but failed to make any impact while the stocky Alex MacDonald worked tenaciously hard to keep Oxford moving forward. He was given plenty of space to operate as the game wandered somewhat aimlessly into extra time.
The nearest Oxford went to scoring in normal time was a long-range effort from Chris Maguire which forced Adam Legzdins to make a hurried low save at the near post.
Legzdins also thwarted MacDonald in the first half of extra time but the Birmingham keeper was well beaten by Sercombe's late winner.