Everything Marco Silva touches turns to gold today.
The Fulham boss, whose first managerial post in English football came at Hull City six years ago, has taken the Cottagers to seventh in the Premier League after three straight wins.
Now Silva’s men can hope for a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup courtesy of on-loan Paris St-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa in the 37th minute and Wales winger Dan James.
Marco Silva has enjoyed a successful return to the club where he started in English football
French left-back Kurzawa, who became the first defender to score a hat-trick in the Champions League with a treble for Paris St Germain against Anderlecht in 2017, grabbed his first goal for a brand new Fulham side in only his second appearance.
It was a simple tap-in from six yards after Hull goalkeeper Matt Ingram could only parry Harry Wilson’s shot into his path before on-loan Leeds man James added a second in the closing stages .
That did it for Championship battlers Hull, who have been upwardly mobile since ex-Fulham defender Liam Rosenior took the reins in November.
The Tigers, now backed by wealthy and ambitious owner Acun Ilicali, should continue to rise under Rosenior, but Fulham could be forgiven for daring to dream of a trip to Wembley.
The Tigers enjoyed a strong start to the first half but could not find the goal to go ahead
Rosenior certainly knows all about the passion and romance that his mysterious old competition can create.
Because he was in the Hull team managed by Steve Bruce that memorably reached the FA Cup final in 2014, losing to Arsenal 3-2 in extra-time after going 2-0 up.
Rosenior wrote in his program notes on the day of the match: ‘The FA Cup is a wonderful competition where dreams can come true.
PSG loanee Layvin Kurzawa scored his first goal for the Cottagers in a 2-0 victory at Hull
‘Our run to the final in 2014 was one of the best memories of my life.’
HULL VS FULHAM MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
HULL CITY (4-2-3-1): Ingram 6; Coyle 7, McLoughlin 6, Figueiredo 6, Elder 6; Woods 7, Simons 6 (Estupinan 72, 6); Vale 6 (Connolly 61, 6), Tufan 6 (Slater 61, 6), Docherty 6 (C Jones 83); Smith 6 (Tetteh 72, 6)
Subs (unused): Lo-Tutala, Greaves, A Jones, Christie.
Manager rating: Liam Rosenior 6
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Rodak 7; De Cordova-Reid 6 (Tete 72, 6), Tosin 6, Diop 6, Kurzawa 7 (Robinson 76, 6); Reed 7 (Chalobah 87), Cairney 8, James 7, Pereira 6 (Palhinha 72, 6), Wilson 7 (Solomon 76, 6), Vinicius 6.
Subs (not usedd): Leno, McFarlane, Harris, Ream.
Manager rating: Marco Silva 7
REFEREE: Josh Smith (Cambridgeshire) 6
The only time Fulham reached the FA Cup final was in 1975 when they beat Hull en-route in the third round.
The Cottagers suffered a 2-0 defeat to West Ham United at Wembley, but they are emerging as a respected force under Silva.
Hull made eight changes to their side with just seven changes for Fulham, suggesting that the FA Cup falls short of league aspirations for both teams.
As the exchanges opened, Hull looked ready to tip their cap to the London aristocrats.
Fulham passed the ball with a swagger that suggested a long afternoon for Rosenior’s boys.
But the Tigers soon settled themselves and almost conceded the opening goal in the fourth minute.
Bobby Decordova-Reid’s backpass to Cottagers goalkeeper Marek Rodak was short and Hull’s Harvey Vale gained possession and advanced towards goal.
The on-loan Chelsea teenager should have hit the target from the edge of the 18-yard box but dragged a left-foot shot in vain.
It was an early warning sign for Fulham but it also served as a confidence boost for the home side, who went close again in the eighth minute.
A neat passing sequence down the left flank saw the Cottagers defense stretched as Hull fed the ball to captain Lewie Coyle on the far side of the penalty box.
He created the position to hit a low, curling left-foot shot that Rodak hooked onto the post for a corner.
A nagging suspicion remained that Fulham might create chances at the other end but Hull, with Ryan Woods a formidable figure in midfield, continued to probe.
The hosts improved following several substitutions but they could not find an equal goal
That said, it took a smart save by Ingram to deny Andreas Pereira in the 32nd minute.
He collected a pass from Carlos Vinicius and made space to hit a left-foot shot that Ingram tipped over for a corner.
But as the interval approached, Wilson cut inside from the right side of Hull’s 18-yard box and hit a fierce left-foot shot.
Hull academy graduate Daniel James scored in injury time to put the result beyond doubt
Ingram’s save fell kindly to Kurzawa, who bundled the ball home from close range.
Both sides made a raft of substitutions as the second half opened and, while Hull enjoyed plenty of possession and pressure, they struggled to convert it into goals.
And a late breakaway led to James firing into an empty net to make it 2-0 in the fourth and final minute of extra time.