With a little assistance from the post, goalie Brad Guzan earned a shutout in Aston Villa's 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers in Thursday's first leg of their English League semifinal series.
Villa took the lead in the first half when James Milner scored on a counterattack after Guzan's unconvincing clearance and it held on for the win.
Young Croatia Nikola Kalinic was unlucky, hitting the same post twice, first with a header, then a curling shot.
Villa will host Blackburn in the second leg at Villa Park next Wednesday.
The winner of the Villa-Blackburn series will face champion Manchester United or Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 28.