REPORT - CITY 1-0 CHIEVO
Match Reports3rd August
Kim Bo Kyung goal earns win while Caulker debutsA third pre-season goal from South Korean star Kim Bo-Kyung saw City run out 1-0 winners against Serie A outfit Chievo Verona as record signing Steven Caulker also made his bow as a second half substitute.
Stepping up their Premier League preparations with the new season just two weeks away, football returned to Cardiff City Stadium to host arguably City's sternest pre-season test yet against a physical Chievo side.
Chances were limited in the first-half but City returned after the break with a fresh vigour and impetus that saw Kim Bo-Kyung break the dead lock in the 57th minute; tapping home the rebound from Craig Noone's initial effort.
Record signing Steven Caulker was next introduced as planned with 30 minutes left to play. A standing ovation from the 7,097 crowd introduced the signing from Tottenham Hotspur as he replaced skipper Mark Hudson.
A change to the advertised starting-11 for City saw Don Cowie start in place of Jordon Mutch, a groin issue in the warm-up the reason for the late call-up for Cowie.
A quiet opening period saw both sides take it in turns to keep possession; A far post header from Ben Turner claimed by Chievo stopper Silvestri the only real chance of note from the opening 15 minutes.
It was much the same at the other end as David Marshall was first called upon just short of the half hour mark; a short corner routine from the visitors playing in full-back Boukary Drame only to see his shot fly directly into the City stoppers arms.
The Bluebirds soon had defender Ben Turner to thank to keep the scores level. Chievo mainstay Sergio Pellissier, now in his 14th year at the club, was quick to pounce on a loose Whittingham back pass; the 34-year old rounded Marshall only to be denied by Turner on the line.
Cowie responded for City with a long range rocket only to see it blocked by Cesar Bostjan. The visitors quickly countered to bring the best chance of the match, first winning the corner which saw Maxwell Acosty with a free header in front of goal, only to head over.
Chances remained few and far between, until City saw their best opportunity so far; Craig Noone picking the ball up inside the area from Brayford's cross in before just firing his volley inches over the crossbar.
Half-time: Cardiff City 0-0 A.C Chievo Verona
The Bluebirds remained the same for the start of the second period with visitors Chievo Verona making four changes. Alessio Sestu, Riccardo Improta , Alberto Paloschi and 'keeper Lorenzo Squizzi replacing Marco Silvestri, Acosty, Pellissier and Hetemaj.
It was unchanged City who instantly looked more lively however. Starting the second half with a new found impetus and vigour, Whittingham bent his shot inches wide of the far post to fire a warning of what was next to come.
Just a few minutes later Cardiff were ahead. Kim Bo Kyung adding a third pre-season goal to his Premier League preparations as he tapped home from close range to put the Bluebirds; it was an easy conversion for the South Korean star, following Squizzi's save from Noone's initial strike.
As planned, club record signing Steven Caulker was introduced to his new home faithful with half an hour to go, coming on to a standing ovation as he replaced skipper Mark Hudson.
Taking it's usual place in pre-season friendlies substitutions dominated a lot of the second period, Rudy Gestede and Andrew Taylor coming on in the 70th minute to replace Tommy Smith and Don Cowie. Joe Ralls replaced Fraizer Campbell seven minutes later.
But it was Chievo substitute Alberto Paloschi who came closest to adding his name to the scoresheet. An excellent run into the area saw his initial effort saved by Marshall, only for the 23-year old forward to hit the upright as he pounced on the rebound.
There was almost late reward for the Bluebirds as Rudy Gestede found himself in the perfect position to double City's lead late on, he could only place his header over the bar however from Whittingham's corner.
FULL-TIME - Cardiff City 1-0 A.C Chievo Verona
Teams -Cardiff City: Marshall; Brayford, John, Kim, Hudson (C) (Caulker 60), Turner, Whittingham, Cowie (Gestede 70), Campbell (Ralls 77), Smith (Taylor 71), Noone. Subs: Richards.
A.C Chievo Verona: Silvestri (Squizzi 45), Dainelli (Papp 50), Radovanovic (Calello 59), Bostjan, Sardo, Acosty (Improta 45), Rigoni (Rigoni 80), Pellissier (C) (Paloschi 45), Hetemaj (Sestu 45), Thereau (Stoian 71), Drame (Pamic 62). Subs: Aldrovandi, Samassa, Farias, Picco.
Attendance: 7,097 (Cardiff City Stadium)
Referee: Mr Bryn Markham-Jones