Guzan thwarted Kenwyne Jones' 85th minute spot kick to preserve the scoreless tie that sent the game into overtime and to a penalty-kick shootout, in which he saved three of the four PKs he faced, from Andy Reid, Lorik Cana and Jordan Henderson.
The 25-year-old keeper who joined Aston Villa from Chivas USA in 2008 also made spectacular saves on a Kieran Richardson shot in overtime and a volley from Henderson in the first half.
"We deserved to go through but their goalkeeper's had one of them nights he's going to remember for the rest of his life," Sunderland coach Steve Bruce told the Guardian.
"He was excellent." Aston Villa coach Martin O'Neill said, "No one's more euphoric than Mr. Guzan. His was a fabulous, fantastic performance. He's got everything and he's as brave as they come. Friedel has been terrific for us but Guzan was immense tonight. I can't remember the last time a keeper saved four penalties but, by the end, I was almost expecting him to save them."
Goalkeeper Tim Howard, the current U.S. national team starter whom Guzan backs up, lost 2-0 with Everton to Tottenham.
In Scotland, DaMarcus Beasley saw his first action of the season, starting and playing 75 minutes in Rangers' 3-1 League Cup win at Dundee.
In Portugal, Freddy Adu watched from the Belenenses bench as it was eliminated from the League Cup with 1-1 tie against Gil Vicente.