Sunderland coach Gus Poyet praised Jozy Altidore for his contribution to the Black Cats’ 2-1 win against Southampton in the English League Cup Fourth Round on Wednesday. The U.S. international, who turned 24 on Thursday, played a key part in both goals. His 59th-minute header drew a great save from Kelvin Davis that Phil Bardlsey tapped home for the first goal, and then, four minutes from time, he laid on what proved to be the game winner for Sebastian Larsson from a position where most strikers would have gone for goal. The victory means Sunderland will play Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the quarterfinals.
After the game, Poyet praised Altidore’s selfless attitude. “Today he was a big part of the first goal,” the Uruguayan said. “He headed it down properly, strongly, he was in the right place the goalkeeper made a save [before Bardsley scored]. The second one, which is the key goal of the game, another striker would think about himself and have a shot for himself, he thought about the team so you have to give him credit for giving it to Seb Larsson to score.”
The former Chelsea and Tottenham player added: “There’s not many people with that character in his situation. I know plenty and I’ve played with plenty of strikers in that situation would have a shot. They don’t care about anything but themselves. I’m very pleased for him and we need to be really happy for what he has done for us.”