English Championship League side Reading has booked a trio to Wembley for the FA Cup semifinals after beating League One club Bradford City on March 17. It’s the first time the second-tier team has made it to the final four of an FA Cup since back in 1927. Third-tier Bradford already caused a few ripples in the competition as they beat Premier League clubs Sunderland and Chelsea on their way to the quarterfinals, but suffered a 3-0 loss at Reading in a replay after playing t a 0-0 draw at home.

It didn’t take Reading long to show who was the boss as they had a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes courtesy of goals by Hal Robson-Kanu and Garath McCleary. The game was then put away for good in the 68th minute when Jamie Mackie banged in an insurance marker to make it 3-0. Bradford shot themselves in the foot during the game as well when midfielder Filipe Morais was red carded for a dangerous tackle.

Reading manager Steve Clarke, who formerly worked as an assistant at Chelsea, will lead his team onto the Wembley pitch in the semifinals on either April 18 or 19 where they will take on reigning FA Cup holders Arsenal of the Premier League. It will be the first top-tier side Reading has faced in this year’s Cup run. The other semifinal matchup will be contested between Aston Villa and fellow Premier League side Liverpool or Championship League squad Blackburn. Liverpool and Blackburn will soon face off in a replay at Blackburn after drawing 0-0 at Anfield.

The winners of the two semifinals will then meet each other in May for the FA Cup, which will also be held at London’s famous Wembley Stadium. Reading will go into their semifinal clash against cup holders Arsenal as the decided underdogs.

photo-AP