Brighton 0-1 Southampton: Charlie Austin hits late winner at the Amex
Report and highlights from Carabao Cup second-round clash
Last Updated: 28/08/18 10:16pm
Substitute Charlie Austin headed a late winner as Southampton progressed to the Carabao Cup third round with a 1-0 victory at Brighton.
Austin nodded in Nathan Redmond's cross with two minutes remaining at the Amex Stadium to settle the only all-Premier League tie of the round.
The goal followed sustained pressure from Saints in the closing stages to earn the 2017 finalists a deserved first victory of the campaign.
Top-flight survival is once again the priority for these two clubs and that was reflected in the team selections as both managers made 10 changes.
Brighton handed a first start to £17m record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh and first-team debuts to Ben Barclay, Will Collar and Viktor Gyokeres, while goalkeeper Angus Gunn made his first Southampton appearance.
Albion's previous two home games brought memorable victories over Manchester United but, understandably, the atmosphere for this second-round clash was far more subdued.
With swathes of empty seats and numerous players lacking match sharpness, the tie often had a pedestrian pace and the feel of a pre-season friendly.
There were occasional moments of inspiration though and Saints, who have taken one point from their opening three league games, looked certain to go ahead in the eighth minute.
James Ward-Prowse produced a dangerous centre from the right but Mohamed Elyounoussi was denied from close range by Albion goalkeeper David Button, before Maya Yoshida's follow-up header was cleared off the line by 21-year-old defender Barclay.
Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma, the only player retained from the weekend loss at Liverpool, was one of the bright sparks in the opening period, although his positive drive through midfield was let down by a wayward strike which left keeper Gunn untested.
Swedish forward Gyokeres, playing wide of the left for Brighton, twice engaged Gunn in the second period, seeing a header parried away before a close-range effort was blocked.
Saints boss Mark Hughes made positive changes in search of a breakthrough, bringing on attacking trio Sam Gallagher, Nathan Redmond and Austin.
Austin had a golden chance to prevent a penalty shoot-out but, after Albion keeper Button was dispossessed by Gallagher, his shot was blocked on the line by Bernardo.
The striker, an 81st-minute replacement for Manolo Gabbiadini, atoned for his profligacy minutes later, rising to power home a header which Button got fingertips to but was unable to prevent crossing the line in front of the travelling Saints fans.