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Cardiff City 2 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 9th March 2024 Kick-off 12:30
Cardiff City 2-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 9th Mar 2024 14:43

Cardiff City netted twice in injury time to grab a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Blues at the Cardiff City Stadium. Town, who were looking to win seven matches on the trot in the second tier for the first time since 1989, went in front via former Bluebird Kieffer Moore and were set for three points which would have taken them back to second until home skipper Ryan Wintle struck on 95 and Callum O’Dowda netted the winner in the 10th minute of time added on.

Town made three changes from the team which beat Bristol City 3-2 on Tuesday with Harry Clarke, Wes Burns and Jeremy Sarmiento coming into the side.

Clarke, making his 50th league appearance for his local club, replaced Axel Tuanzebe at right-back, Cardiff fan Burns, who was released by the Bluebirds as a schoolboy, came in for Omari Hutchinson on the right and Sarmiento for Marcus Harness on the left with all three players dropping out of the XI on the bench, alongside Nathan Broadhead, who returned from his thigh injury.

Cardiff made two changes, Emmanouil Siopis for Joe Ralls and Yakou Meite for Diedhiou.

It was Town’s former Bluebirds striker Moore who headed the first attempt on goal in the second minute but his stooping effort from Clarke’s cross was too close to Ethan Horvath in the home goal.

Three minutes later, Cardiff forced the game’s first significant save, David Turnbull cutting onto his right foot before hitting a shot from just outside the area which moved across Vaclav Hladky in the air and the keeper, also making his 50th league appearance for the club, did well to palm it wide.

From the corner, the Welsh side went even closer. Cameron Burgess’s flicked headed clearance only reached Josh Bowler beyond the far post from where the former Hull City winger struck a low effort which Hladky palmed into the crowded six-yard box. Perry Ng was first to it and seemed certain to score but it bobbled off his shin and Moore cleared from in front the line. A subsequent Bowler effort was also blocked.

The Bluebirds continued to threaten with their fans getting behind them and on eight, Josh Wilson-Esbrand cut in from the left but Luke Woolfenden was able to close him down and block.

Two minutes later, Burns burst down the right and crossed for Moore, whose deft heel-flick at the near post hit the stanchion, much to the delight of his old supporters, who had booed his every touch, presumably due to the Wales international’s decision to sign for the Blues on loan in January rather than returning to Cardiff.

After a brief spell of Town possession, the Bluebirds threatened again, cleverly working Bowler space on the right of the box but the wideman’s shot was too close to Hladky, who initially fumbled the ball into the air before claiming at the second attempt.

On the quarter hour, Sam Morsy was fortunate to escape a booking after sliding in on Siopis as the Greek midfielder approached the area and failing to win the ball, however, referee Oliver Langford judged that he had, much to the annoyance of the home support.

Cardiff continued to have the better of it and in the 22nd minute Karlen Grant whipped over a curling cross from the left only just beyond Turnbull at the far post.

As the game reached the half hour, Town were getting more control over the game, seeing most of the ball and getting into good areas. Conor Chaplin nodded back across goal to Moore, who headed into a dangerous area but too close to a defender - colliding with Sarmiento as he did so, the Equadorian international requiring treatment - then Burns was sent away on the right but his cross flew behind the goal.

The Blues continued to run the game and on 43 Burns was played on on the right and cut back to Chaplin. Town’s 12-goal top scorer swivelled and then hit a shot which was blocked. Woolfenden’s subsequent strike was screwed high and wide.

In injury time, Horvath was forced to head clear from just outside his area and found Moore, who moved it on to Massimo Luongo, making his 50th start for the club across his two spells, who in turn played it to Sarmiento, who tried to break into the area but it was stabbed back to the keeper by a defender.

Just before the whistle, Grant brought the ball forward into the left of the box but fired over, much to his evident frustration.

The Bluebirds had looked the more threatening side for most of the first half hour and Ng really should have put them in front with the goal gaping in front of him from Hladky’s save from Bowler’s shot.

But the Blues began to take a greater hold on the game in the final quarter of an hour, but without creating a serious chance or forcing Horvath into a save.

Meanwhile, Grant’s late effort at the end illustrated that Cardiff were still able to present a threat at the other end.

Neither side threatened in the early stages of the half and on 53 the game was held up for a lengthy spell after Moore and Dimitrios Boutas clashed heads on halfway as they went for a chipped Leif Davis pass. The Town striker suffered a cut to the head and continued with a bandage.

Town created their first chance of the second half in the 64th minute, Burgess flicking on a Clarke long throw from the right and Moore hooking a shot wide, clearly off a defender, but to the striker’s frustration referee Langford gave a goal-kick.

But, side from that, the Blues had shown little threat since the break and as Cardiff prepared to restart, Broadhead and Hutchinson replaced Sarmiento and Chaplin.

Town began to keep the ball for long spells and in the 74th minute a lengthy period of possession ended with Morsy hitting a 20-yard shot straight at Horvath.

Two minutes later, Cardiff swapped Meite and Turnbull for Rubin Colwill and O’Dowda, then on 77, the Blues replaced Burns and Luongo with Harness and Jack Taylor.

Within a minute of the changes, Hutchinson cut in from the right and curled a shot which was too close to Horvath, who palmed away.

However, the Blues were starting to build up a head of steam with Cardiff struggling to clear the subsequent corner.

And in the 79th minute, Town took the lead. Harness played the ball wide to Moore on the left of the box and the former Cardiff man took it outside Nat Phillips and hit a low shot which curled away from Horvath and tucked neatly inside the post.

As the 3,200-plus Town fans went wild, Moore refused to celebrate his sixth goal, in eight starts and one sub appearance, against his old club, despite the earlier boos from his former supporters.

Cardiff made another change as they looked to get back into the match, Diedhiou replacing Bowler in the 84th minute.

The Blues replaced goalscorer Moore in the 89th minute to a standing ovation from the traveling fans and boos from the Cardiff support. Moore, who was replaced by Ali Al-Hamadi, smiled as he applauded all sections of the stadium.

Referee Langford had kept his cards in his pockets throughout but as the game moved into eight additional minutes, Hladky was booked for time-wasting as he prepared to take a goal-kick.

Cardiff were taking the game to the Blues and three minutes into added-on time, they really should have levelled. Colwill’s cross from the right clipped a Town defender on its way over and reached O’Dowda at the far post from where the Irishman turned it over the bar. It came at an awkward height but nevertheless, O’Dowda should still have scored.

But the home pressure continued and five minutes into injury time, they did equalise. O’Dowda headed a right-wing cross back across goal, Burgess failed to get enough on the clearance and skipper Wintle slammed a low shot through a crowd of players and into the net.

Having got back on terms, the Bluebirds maintained their pressure with the Blues appearing to have run out of steam.

And in the 10th minute of injury time, they won it. The Welshmen won a corner on the right, which Town felt should have been a free-kick for a foul on Davis.

The ball was floated in and fell loose, Ng hooked to the far post and O’Dowda smashed into the roof of the net to send the home fans wild.

There wasn’t time for Town to hit back and referee Langford’s whistle confirmed the Blues’ fifth league defeat of the season.

Having gone in front, Town appeared to have the game won but they were put under significant pressure by the home side in the lengthy injury time, caused by the clash of heads involving Moore and Goutas, with the Blues looking unusually tired at the end, Town having made a habit of finishing games strongly this season, scoring a number of late goals in recent matches.

Cardiff had presented little threat in the second half until going behind but the Blues were faced with wave after wave of attacks in injury time and might have conceded prior to the first Bluebirds goal.

Manager Kieran McKenna warned about Cardiff’s set-piece prowess before the game and the Town defence won’t want to look back at the defending for the two goals, although there was a clear question mark surrounding the corner which led to the second with Davis appearing to have been fouled.

The Blues are now third following Leeds’ 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday last night and four points behind leaders Leicester following their 2-2 draw at Hull City. Southampton in fourth are five points behind the Blues with a game in hand.

Town are next in action when the Owls visit Portman Road next Saturday.

Cardiff City: Horvath, Ng, Goutas, Phillips, Wilson-Esbrand, Siopis, Wintle (c) (Ralls 98), Turnbull (R Colwill 76), Bowler (Diedhiou 84), Grant, Meite (O’Dowda 76). Unused: Turner, Romeo, Collins, Tanner, Ashford.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Luongo (Taylor 77), Burns (Harness 77), Chaplin (Hutchinson 66), Sarmiento (Broadhead 66), Moore. Unused: Walton, Tuanzebe, Travis, Al-Hamadi, Jackson. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).

Photo: Matchday Images

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RobsonWark added 14:45 - Mar 9
If only we had defenders who could defend. Instead we have Wolfenden and Clarke!

cat added 14:46 - Mar 9
Not good, proper chucked that one away with another below par defensive performance. Still 6 wins in last 7 can’t complain to much. Keep positive and kick on

pablo123 added 14:46 - Mar 9
Playoffs will be fun anyway

Nomore4 added 14:48 - Mar 9
At least another defeat to come. Just need to win the rest…..

bluerico added 14:48 - Mar 9
Need to learn how to defend a one goal lead especially in added time. That’s 3 points dropped. Need a right sided central defender.

TimmyH added 14:49 - Mar 9
Tasting of our own medicine there!...after our goal we literally sat back, didn't manage to control the ball or put 2 passes together and as we know we're simply not good enough defensively to see games out and need to be on the front foot -(keystone cops comes to mind).

Over the whole game didn't do enough to win it in my opinion and thought we looked quite lethargic in can't keep winning games if the performances aren't there. Not really one player stood out today but again for his work ethic it would probably be Morsy.

We move on and hope other results go our way...over 90 minutes we need to improve as well as a few players.

blueboy1981 added 14:52 - Mar 9
Put under pressure, our Defence are like Rabbits in Headlights - no point in denying it - IT NEEDS SORTING, or the Season will end in disappointment …. !!!

Bert added 14:53 - Mar 9
A gut wrenching defeat which was very avoidable. Controlled the second half, scored a great goal, then switched off. Ball watching for their second goal. Deflated yes but we will recover.

senduntd added 14:53 - Mar 9
How come the referee adds 8 minutes extra time but plays 11 minutes.
By the way Town TV were rubbish spent most of the the buffering.

pazzy added 14:54 - Mar 9
weak wolfie again

ITFCSG added 14:55 - Mar 9
Piss poor game management, why sit back and let Cardiff have all the ball after scoring? We have not played like this for ages - too many players going through the motions today thinking they will turn up and win. How many shots on target did we have before Moore's opener and after? Players get a taste of their own medicine this time.

atty added 15:02 - Mar 9
Simply can’t handle pressure in periods like that.Remember that similar period against Bristol? Woeful defending, weak mentally. Live by the sword die by the sword my **e.We certainly died today. 1-0 away from home and we concede two in injury. Just like the bad old days when we used to concede late goals on a regular basis. A good controlled competent performance for 90 mins + would be nice. To what extent will that dent our confidence? No that we showed much today. Sick.

Terrystowel added 15:02 - Mar 9
Agreed. Need one or two proper hairy a-s-d defenders. And what happened to the games when we had 20 or 30 attempts? 27 pts to play for. COYBs

philpott2 added 15:04 - Mar 9
Defence poor yet again....
Burgess probably the best of the 4.....ball watching way too often, for sure.
Chaplin in particular hasn't been at the races for a few weeks now. Only interested (& shoots, regardless) if the ball is coming to him, rarely tries to win it.
Shocking defending again, just didn't get away with it this time.

Suffolkboy added 15:06 - Mar 9
Real shame - but look at the intensity of games ,the travel and the almost inevitable fading of strength and determination in a style where our own stamina has generally told . Today Cardiff seem to have claimed the best and most significant stats ; well done to them , we simply cannot win them all !
We’re having a season way beyond expectation; still all to play for , much to gain yet .

TimmyH added 15:10 - Mar 9
One of the few times subs didn't make much of a difference and a number really quite anonymous - loss count the amount of times Harness gave the ball away and a few have lost their form particularly in Luongo and Broadhead.

Let's hope this game doesn't define if we're in the play-offs or autos.

SickParrot added 15:11 - Mar 9
We were nowhere near our best today and scored from one of our few moments of quality. Neither side really did enough to deserve three points but we threw them away because we had opportunities to clear the danger for both Cardiff goals but Burgess and Wolfie were in panic mode.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 15:14 - Mar 9
A result like this has been coming all season, our midfield and strikers have worked miracles all season to pull us out of the excrement that is our central defence!
We struggled to contain league 1 opposition, so why would we expect them to be any better in the championship?
Far be it from me to criticise KM but to not get better CBs over the close season and January could come back to haunt us, and the goal difference backs this up unfortunately!

KMcBlue added 15:14 - Mar 9
I think we simply get complacent. you can generally tell at the start of games how it's going to go. Not at it today. Why are we so slow to get going??

EssexTractor added 15:15 - Mar 9
Having won six consecutive matches the attitude today was puzzling.
Slow out of the blocks, passes astray , may well have conceded in first ten minutes
Thereafter each part of our game individually and collectively worsened
But having somehow managed to go one up with really our only good shot of the match we couldn’t do what really good teams do
Force the win particularly against the home side who looked pretty poor by the time of Moores goal.
It will take some truly fantastic management and resurgent playing power to finish in top two.


Cheshire_Blue added 15:16 - Mar 9
Let us not forget we are having a great season, but defensively we are poor on occasions. We had this game won and then let it slip by defending poorly. Both Cardiff goals could and should have been prevented and may well prove costly.

blueboy1981 added 15:17 - Mar 9
…… not what anyone in Football would expect from a Team challenging for Promotion to the Premiership - for sure.
Our Defence is becoming a ‘talking point’ for the wrong reason - Correction :- It has become, and justifiably too, or is it poor Game Management ??
There HAS to be an answer to it, and Resolution !!

johnwarksshorts added 15:18 - Mar 9
Look I know its a cliche but 78pts after 37 games 3rd in championship only 5 defeats for a newly promoted club that's fantastic just enjoy the rest of the journey.
The manner of our defeat was frustrating thought we wernt quite at it today..9 games to go and I have a feeling it'll be tight til the end. Big clap to all 3500 who travelled to Wales today.

BlueInBerks added 15:18 - Mar 9
KM must be seething, but he was out-thought today. Need Brandon Williams to regain fitness and take over for Wolfie, simply not good enough

warktheline added 15:19 - Mar 9
It’s not nice tasting defeat is it? A whopping five defeats now….really shows just how far this club has come in such a short period of time…still plenty of twists and turns to come before season ends…however it finishes, it won’t be a failure, I mean some predicted a long hard season ahead! Keep the faith!

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