Cardiff City's final pre-season match, against Premier League opposition AFC Bournemouth, was decided by a single wonder-goal at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, 30th July 2016.
The hosts began the match strongly, with one eye on their top flight opening match against Manchester United, with forwards Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban testing David Marshall inside the first ten minutes. City's first effort came courtesy of Joe Ralls, who tried his luck from distance only to be denied by Australian international goalkeeper Adam Federici.
Brad Smith and Jordon Ibe, both recently signed from Liverpool, showed their promise from the first whistle for Bournemouth, and it was the latter that opened the scoring with a special strike. Ibe picking up the ball just inside his own half before darting down the right side and unleashing a powerful strike into the top corner of the net.
Anthony Pilkington continued his strong pre-season with another lively performance, and he went close to levelling the match after 19 minutes, firing over the crossbar on the half volley following a strong passing move involving Frédéric Gounongbe and Fabio.
Ralls and Pilkington both had further chances with the Bluebirds looking strong on the counter attack before the dangerous Ibe went close with a left footed drive.
Anthony Pilkington almost found the back of the net five minutes into the second half, curling just over from Jazz Richards' cut back.
After his half-time introduction for Sean Morrison, Bruno Ecuele Manga showed his quality with a much needed interception as Jordon Ibe looked to find Grabban free in the area.
The Bluebirds went even closer to levelling on 63 minutes with Ralls placing his effort inches off target from the edge of the area.
Further efforts from Pilkington and Ralls threatened the Bournemouth goal with the end approaching. Arguably City's best chance of the match came with just seven minutes remaining as substitutes combined. Craig Noone's cross headed by Kenneth Zohore, but wide of goal from five yards out. Zohore and Noone also combined again with two minutes remaining, but the forward was unable to get a real strike at goal under pressure from the Cherries defence. A strong final pre-season workout for Paul Trollope's men against top level opposition, with all focus now on the opening Sky Bet Championship match against Birmingham City.
FINAL SCORE: AFC BOURNEMOUTH 1-0 CARDIFF CITY (Jordon Ibe 11')
AFC Bournemouth: Federici, A. Smith (Lee, 46), Jordan, Cook, B. Smith (Harfield, 86), Ibe (Green, 74), Surman, Arter (Whitfield, 44), Fraser (Buckley, 82), Grabban (Matthews, 74), Afobe (Mousset, 67). Subs Not Used: Stanton, McCarthy, Butcher.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Fabio, Richards (John, 60), Peltier (Ajayi, 79), Morrison (Manga, 46), Connolly, Ralls (O’Keefe, 79), Whittingham (Gunnarsson, 79), Pilkington (Noone, 79), Immers, Gounongbe (Zohore, 60). Subs Not Used: Wilson.