Nikola Zigic sent Birmingham City to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup by scoring a winner six minutes from time against arch-rivals Aston Villa at the St Andrew's stadium.

However, the victory was marred by ugly scenes at the end of the game when opposing fans invaded the pitch and attacked each other.

Niko Zigic converted Cameron Jerome's cross six minutes from time to send Birmingham to the semis. Earlier, Sebastian Larsson had opened the scoring at 12th minute after Richard Dunne's clumsy challenge gave Birmingham a penalty. However, Gabriel Agbonlahor equalized for Villa before the interval.

Villa were the better side for most of the game, but they failed to venture in roads into the Birmingham area. So when Zigic, who was a target for Birmingham fans frustration for most of the game, scored the winner, St Andrews went into delirium.

However, passion turned to violence after the final whistle. There was a massive pitch invasion with supporters attacking each other with flares and seating. Police made five arrests while fourteen people required treatment in a nearby hospital.

The invasion could prove costly to England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup, with FIFA deciding the winning bid on Thursday, Decemeber 2.

However, Birmingham manager, Alex McLeish, was confident that post-match violence wouldn't affect England's chances. He told Sky Sports, I don't think that will affect the World Cup bid, I'm sure that's already decided, and let's hope England gets it because it deserves it.

It doesn't look good though, when you see fans running on the pitch like that and carrying on. It takes us back to the Dark Ages.

A spokesman for the FA (Football Association) said, We wholly condemn the actions of any individuals who have been involved in the scenes of disorder at St Andrew's this evening.

The FA abhors acts of violent behaviour and we urge the clubs and authorities to identify any individuals involved in disorder, and impose the stiffest available sanctions, including banning orders.

The FA will fully investigate the matter in conjunction with the appropriate authorities.

The whole of English football has worked hard to eradicate scenes of disorder from our game, with Home Office figures this week showing a significant drop in arrests at the many thousands of football matches held every week, the majority of which still pass trouble free.

Meanwhile, Championship club Ipswich sent Premier League side West Brom crashing out 1-0, thanks to Grant Leadbitter's penalty kick at Portman Road.

Ipswich will next face Premier League giants, Arsenal, in the semis while West Ham and Birmingham will battle it out for a place in the finals.

Ipswich manager and former Manchester United player, Roy Keane, said they were given the toughest possible draw.

I think it is the toughest draw we could have had, said Keane. Put it this way, West Ham and Birmingham will have been delighted to have avoided Arsenal.