Despite being a league apart, there was very little to seperate Hull and Newcastle. Except the on-fire goalkeeper, that is.
The Championship leaders were knocked out of the EFL Cup quarter finals at the KCom Stadium on Tuesday night while Hull reached the semi-finals of a domestic competition for the first time since 1930 thanks to the superb performance of the understudy goalkeeper between the sticks.
As well as denying both Yoan Gouffran and Jonjo Shelvey from the spot, the 32-year-old made a string of fine saves in normal and extra time as The Tigers maintained a welcome distraction from their Premier League struggles.
And Jakupovic admits that he researched Newcastle’s potential penalty takers extensively beforehand, proving that hard work and preparation does indeed pay off.
“The only thing in my mind if we get to a penalty shoot-out is to save the penalties,” the one-time Swiss international told the club’s official website. “We do research on penalty takers before pretty much every game
“I knew Shelvey would put his penalty where he did. Even if you know that, you still need to be a bit lucky and make the save but we are all happy that we won the game and got through.”
A number of Hull fans have clamoured for Jakupovic to be reinstated as the club’s first choice keeper in recent months, an opinion certainly exacerbated by a number of high profile mistakes committed by summer signing David Marshall.
However, Mike Phelan’s hand may be forced after the veteran shot-stopper ensured Hull are just a two-legged semi-final from a famous day out at Wembley, all the while consigning Newcastle to back-to-back defeats for the first time since August.