Manchester United endured a nightmare penalty shoot-out as Sunderland claimed a place in the Capital One Cup final at Old Trafford.
United scored just once from their five kicks, with only skipper Darren Fletcher converting, as Sunderland's two successes proved enough to book a Wembley date with Manchester City on March 2.
In a season of utter misery for United boss David Moyes, it was yet another hammer blow.
His side has seemed to be on the verge of victory thanks to Jonny Evans' first-half goal as the tie ticked towards the final minute of extra time.
But when Phil Bardsley let fly from 20 yards, David de Gea inexplicably allowed the former United man's shot to slip through his grasp.
Amazingly, United earned themselves a reprieve in injury time as his players summoned up the spirit for which they are so famed and with virtually their last attack, Adnan Januzaj crossed for Javier Hernandez to bundle home from close range to give them a 2-1 win after extra time.
Moyes might have hoped fortune was to smile on him.
Even in a ridiculously bad shoot-out, De Gea's save from Adam Johnson meant Sunderland had only scored twice.
United could not match it though. And whilst it is anticipated Juan Mata will be having a medical on Friday ahead of a club-record transfer from Chelsea, he will do so against a backdrop of even more gloom.