Blues, whose only win in seven games now was against Forest Green in the third round, capitalised on a poor Blackburn pass in defence to take an early lead. Khadra's skidding third-minute shot proved too much for Thomas Kaminski to keep out. The Germany Under-21 international - who is on loan from Brighton, having spent last season at Rovers - went close to a second soon after but his shot squirmed underneath Kaminski only to bobble beyond the far post. Ben Brereton Diaz twice tested Etheridge either side of that near miss from Khadra in a first half that produced numerous opportunities for both sides.
Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 2, Birmingham City 2. Harry Pickering (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City). Hand ball by Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers). Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Jack Vale replaces Sam Gallagher. Delay over. They are ready to continue. Delay in match (Blackburn Rovers). Goal! Blackburn Rovers 2, Birmingham City 2.
While Etheridge was able to push a Rankin-Costello shot on to the woodwork, Dack was there to tap in as the rebound bounced into his path. Kaminski ensured the hosts remained level at the break, keeping out a diving header from Lukas Jutkiewicz in the final minute of the first half, but Rovers took the lead immediately after the break. Just as they squandered possession in defence to concede the opening goal, Blues did the same after the restart to allow Rankin-Costello to find the bottom corner with the outside of his boot. Jutkiewicz headed over and Khadra called Kaminski into action again as Blues searched for a leveller, while Brereton Diaz sent a big chance wide and Dack also failed to make the most of promising opportunity.
The home side were made to rue those misses as James met a pass from Hannibal Mejbri to coolly slot home from 12 yards. Line-upsBlackburnFormation 4-2-3-11Kaminski11Rankin-CostelloBooked at 22mins17Carter16WhartonBooked at 80mins3Pickering21BuckleySubstituted forTravisat 75'minutes6MortonBooked at 69mins19HedgesSubstituted forDolanat 45'minutes23DackSubstituted forSzmodicsat 87'minutes22BreretonBooked at 86mins9GallagherSubstituted forValeat 90+5'minutesSubstitutes7Edun8Szmodics10Dolan13Pears27Travis29Vale30Garrett33Phillips38LeonardBirminghamFormation 5-3-21Etheridge2Colin28Sanderson26LongSubstituted forBacunaat 75'minutes5Trusty3Friend20GardnerSubstituted forMejbriat 64'minutes31BielikSubstituted forChangat 65'minutes18ChongBooked at 40minsSubstituted forJamesat 89'minutes17KhadraSubstituted forHoganat 64'minutes10JutkiewiczSubstitutes6Mejbri7Bacuna9Hogan11Graham19James21Ruddy25Gordon42Chang49DonovanReferee:Keith StroudAttendance:13, 687Live TextMatch ends, Blackburn Rovers 2, Birmingham City 2.
"Neil was racially abused at the end, which is bang out of order, " Eustace told BBC Radio WM. "There is no room at all in society, let alone football, for that. "The Football Association confirmed it would be investigating the incident "as a matter of urgency, working with the clubs and the relevant authorities". A statement from Birmingham after the game said they will assist the FA and the authorities after the incident was included in the official's report. Blackburn said they would also investigate, adding that the allegation had been "taken extremely seriously". "The club has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of abuse and discrimination, and will take the strongest possible action against any individuals identified for committing such offences, " Rovers said. external-linkThe alleged incident and flare-up that followed on the pitch marred a hugely entertaining tie between the two Championship sides that now heads to St Andrew's to be settled.
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