|Event||FA Cup 1972–73|
|Date||5 May 1973|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
The 1973 FA Cup Final was the 92nd final of the FA Cup. It took place on 5 May 1973 at Wembley Stadium (celebrating its 50th anniversary in this year) and was contested between Leeds United, the previous season's winners and one of the dominant teams in English football at the time, and Sunderland, then playing in the Second Division.
In one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition, Sunderland won 1–0 to become the first Second Division side to lift the Cup since West Bromwich Albion in 1931. It remains Sunderland's only major trophy since World War II. Sunderland's team were the only FA Cup winners of the 20th century not to field any full internationals, although some of their players were capped later.
Road to Wembley
Round 4: Leeds United 2–1 Plymouth Argyle
Round 5: Leeds United 2–0 WBA
Quarter-Final: Derby County 0–1 Leeds United
Semi-Final: Leeds United 1–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Round 4: Sunderland 1–1 Reading
Round 5: Manchester City 2–2 Sunderland
Quarter-Final: Sunderland 2–0 Luton Town
Semi-Final: Sunderland 2–1 Arsenal
Sunderland established their tactics immediately from the kick-off and refused to be intimidated by their more illustrious opponents (who had earned the nickname 'Dirty' Leeds due to their aggressive style), tackling fiercely and defiantly with an unremitting determination. Leeds looked anxious, lacking their usual composure. The match itself was decided by two crucial moments that would be talked about for years to come.
After 31 minutes Sunderland took the lead when Vic Halom chested down a corner from Billy Hughes. Assisted by Dave Watson between two defenders, the deflected high ball was controlled by Ian Porterfield who shot home from 12 yards. Leeds, shocked, battled back with predictable determination. Sunderland’s goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery was outstanding, defying Leeds with a string of fine saves and preserving his team’s lead.
The turning point of the match came midway through the second half. Montgomery dived to palm away a close range header from Trevor Cherry. It fell into the path of Lorimer who blasted goalward from 10 yards but Montgomery managed to divert the ball on to the underside of the bar and Malone scrambled the ball clear. The save has been compared with that made by England’s Gordon Banks in the 1970 FIFA World Cup match against Brazil.
The North East team survived more pressure from Leeds to secure a notable upset.
Sunderland's triumph made them the first FA Cup winners to lift the trophy with a side featuring no full international players, although some were capped later.
The 1973 showpiece isn't the only FA Cup final ever to be played with an orange ball.
Sunderland's FA Cup record, "Sunderland All the Way", was recorded by comedian Bobby Knoxall.
| 5 May 1973|
|Leeds United||0–1||Sunderland|| Wembley, London|
Referee: Ken Burns, Stourbridge