Despite a host of late chances, the Bluebirds were held to a 0-0 draw in front 27,874 fans at Cardiff City Stadium.
As usual at home, the Bluebirds began with attacking intentions, but struggled to break down the sturdy Rangers’ defence early on. The first real City chances came around the half-hour mark, with strike duo Lex Immers and Anthony Pilkington involved. Firstly, Immers went close, after instinctively flicking on Stuart O’Keefe’s pass, although the effort went wide of the goal.
Only moments later, O’Keefe had a chance of his own. Good work from Pilkington on the left saw the striker run through on goal, before squaring to O’Keefe on the edge of the box. The stretching midfielder couldn’t quite make contact with the ball before it was cleared. The game then began to fizzle out until the half time whistle, with neither side creating any clear-cut chances.
After the midway point, the match opened up, with both teams frequently racing forward. QPR’s Sebastian Polter and Tjaronn Chery both hit shots towards the Cardiff goal, but couldn’t find a way past skipper David Marshall. At the other end, Pilkington inadvertently came the closest to opening the scoring. His makeshift header from Scott Malone’s cross clipped the post, but agonisingly went out for a goal kick.
As the clock ticked towards seventy minutes, the Bluebirds began to apply really pressure, with a barrage of possession in the QPR area. A succession of corners almost earnt City the lead, as Sean Morrison headed goalwards. Somehow, the ball was diverted off the line, and away to safety. Minutes later, winger Craig Noone picked the ball up on the far right touchline. He cut inside and unleashing a curling shot, which narrowly evaded the crossbar, as Cardiff began to intensify their search for the crucial opening goal.
A POINT A PIECE
Full back Malone had an effort of his own as the game entered the final stages, but his well-struck shot was stopped by the face of the QPR defender. Substitute Kenneth Zohore was causing the R’s defence a few problems, and almost got off the mark for Cardiff. Heavily marked in the area, the Dane dragged his shot across goal, but couldn’t quite find the target. Following in was Anthony Pilkington, who was adjudged to have fouled his man before he could reach the ball.
In the dying moments, Zohore had another golden opportunity, after some great play with Malone. A neat one-two on the left hand side put the loanee through on goal, but his powerful effort was well saved by Matt Ingram. The game finished with another shower of Cardiff corners, with Morrison again on the end of a good delivery. Once more though, his header couldn’t find the back of the net, and was the last action of the match.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 0 – 0 QPR
Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Morrison, Whittingham (Gunnarsson 81’), Ralls, Noone, Pilkington, Connolly, O'Keefe (Ameobi ’66), Immers (Zohore 80’), Malone.
Subs not used: Moore, Turner, Dikgacoi, Lawrence.
Queens Park Rangers: Ingram, Hall, Onuoha, Hill, Phillips (Washington 84’), Chery (El-Khayati 72’), Konchesky, Faurlin, Henry, Luongo, Polter (Gladwin 66’).
Subs not used: Lumley, Hoilett, Petrasso, Kpekawa.