Carabao Cup: Brentford knocked out by Gillingham on penalties but Ivan Toney scores in final World Cup audition

Brentford led the League Two strugglers through England prospect Toney’s opening goal but then sat back and allowed their opponents to come at them in the second half.

The Gills duly got back into the game when Mikael Mandron’s late header secured a 1-1 draw.

Toney at least had the chance to show off his nerveless penalty technique in the shootout one last time before Gareth Southgate named his team by scoring his team’s first.

But after 11 successful kicks, Mikkel Damsgaard crashed into the crossbar to give Gillingham an unlikely victory and a place in the fourth round.

Toney’s goal came after just three minutes and was probably the easiest of his nine so far this season. The 26-year-old had endured a tough few days, having been suspended at Nottingham Forest on Saturday before it was revealed he was under investigation by the Football Association over an alleged historic breach of betting rules .

Such is his desperation to be at the World Cup, having made Southgate’s last squad without stepping onto the pitch, that Bees boss Thomas Frank picked him to face Gillingham to help him out. “to fight for one’s position”.

In fact, Frank named a surprisingly strong squad, making six changes, two of which being Toney and Danish midfielder Christian Norgaard, back after 10 weeks out with an injury.

Kick-off had been delayed 20 minutes due to Gillingham’s foul on west London traffic, but Toney wasted no time finding the net.

Qatar’s defenses are unlikely to be as accommodating as those of Gillingham, who let Damsgaard reduce David Raya’s clearance, wander into the center and hit Toney, who finished in an empty net. Then, as half-time approached, Saman Ghoddos planted a looping header against the woodwork.

Toney should have doubled the lead when found in the box by Josh Dasilva, but he hit his shot across goal and narrowly wide.

Then, in the 73rd minute, Gillingham equalized out of nowhere with their only effort on target. Alex MacDonald had an instant impact off the bench with fellow countryman Mandron’s inviting header cross.

Goalkeeper Jake Turner kept Gillingham on track for a shootout with a superb save to deny Ethan Pinnock’s header in the 89th minute, and when Damsgaard’s kick returned from the crossbar they celebrated a famous victory.

Additional reports by AP.


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