The stand-out players in Monday’s win at Longford, Januzaj and Mats Daehli, seemed unable to impose themselves on the game, and United were reduced to speculative efforts from outside the area in the face of resolute Cork defending. King was able to make room for himself on the right-hand edge of the box in the final minute of the half, but the Norwegian was off balance as he shot well wide of Mark McNulty’s goal.
Cork manager Tommy Dunne made 10 outfield changes at half-time, but the new-look home side soon made the running in the second half as well. Cathal Lordan and Stephen Kenny had early opportunities, then Cork thought they had been awarded a penalty when referee Graham Kelly blew up after Keigan Parker went down under a challenge from Sean McGinty in the area. However, the official instead showed the former Blackpool striker a yellow card for simulation.
United carved out a clear opening in the 70th minute when sharp one-touch football by Januzaj and substitute Agnaldo on the edge of the Cork box gave Jack Barmby a sight of goal, but the teenager blazed narrowly over the bar. Sutherland then produced a magnificent one-handed save to keep out a Parker effort across goal in the final minute, but O’Connell made it 2-0 from the corner with a back-post header.
United: Sutherland; Fornasier, M.Keane, McGinty, James; Lawrence (Agnaldo 53), Giverin (Barmby 63), Gladstony (Hendrie 53), Daehli (Van Velzen 78); Januzaj; King. Subs not used: Gorre, Love.