SIMON Eastwood was thrilled to help Oxford United make waves on a national scale after sealing their first major quarter-final place in more than three decades.

The goalkeeper saved Marc McNulty’s penalty in a shoot-out at a sold-out Kassam Stadium where Will Grigg missed while the hosts scored all four spot-kicks.

It came after the fourth-round Carabao Cup tie had finished level at 1-1, with the Black Cats piling on the pressure after Rob Hall’s first-half effort was cancelled out by McNulty.

But the U’s found a way to reach the last eight, something they have not managed in either of the two major cup competitions since 1987/88, when they were a top-flight side.

READ MORE: Oxford 1, Sunderland 1

They will take their place alongside some big names – and Sky Bet League Two side Colchester United – in tomorrow morning’s draw.

Eastwood said: “It’s a great achievement to get to the quarter-finals – to get Oxford back on the map and having people talk about them.”

Not for the first time, United’s No 1 spread the credit with goalkeeping coach Wayne Brown and the analysis team for their research.

He said: “If I’m being honest I don’t save the last penalty if I don’t look over at him (Brown).

“I was going to dive the other way. It just shows the effort the staff go into look at everybody’s penalties.”

United had stormed past West Ham United 4-0 in the previous round, but this all-League One clash was far less comfortable.

IN PICTURES: Gallery from Oxford United's Carabao Cup success against Sunderland

Robinson felt Sunderland should have had a penalty in the latter stages when Sam Long went in on Luke O’Nien.

But while admitting his side had not been at their best, there was a pride at the way they had dug out a result in front of a full house.

He said: “We weren’t good. I thought we were poor in a lot of our play, but we were brave and stood firm.

“What a wonderful night. I said to the players at half-time ‘here’s an opportunity to write yourself into the history books’. This will certainly live long in this club’s memory.”

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That applies to Hall as well, with the winger on the scoresheet for the first time in almost two injury-hit years.

He said: “I had a chance against Sunderland which was similar at the start of the season and I kept it too low, so I had to lift this one.

“It’s about time I gave the fans something to shout about, from a personal point of view.

“I’m exhausted but happy.”