Late Vaz Te header wins thrilling Cup encounter
A brave Cardiff City comeback and a first goal for Peter Odemwingie wasn't enough for the Bluebirds as West Ham United progressed into the Capital One Cup fourth round with a 3-2 win at Upton Park.
In a tough start, City were two goals down in just seven minutes. Ravel Morrison fired the Hammers in front with just twenty seconds on the clock before Matty Jarvis doubled their advantage just six minutes later.
It looked like it could be a long evening for City only for a stunning strike from Craig Noone to pull the Bluebirds right back into the match on the cusp of half-time and claim the initiative. Peter Odemwingie's first goal for the club completed the comeback with just fifteen minutes left to play.
But as Malky Mackay's men looked for the winner, it was the Hammers who fired the all important fifth goal; Ricardo Vaz Te heading home from close range to secure their place in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup and a 3-2 win.
Making eleven changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, City boss Malky Mackay gave a first full start to deadline day signing Peter Odemwingie.
City were dealt the toughest possible start however, falling behind within 20 seconds as Morrison broke forward, twisting and turning before rifling his shot past Joe Lewis and the recovering Matt Connolly in the 'City goal, for his second in two games.
Just six minutes later the Hammers' doubled their lead through winger Jarvis. Some neat build-up play worked the ball to the former Wolves winger in the area, before his shot deflected off a Cardiff defender before sneaking past Lewis in at the near post.
The Hammers had chances to make it three soon after. Vaz Te was first to scoop his effort wide before former Bluebird James Collins couldn't convert his opportunity from within the six-yard area.
One goal would put the Bluebirds right back into this tie and it came through the brilliance of winger Craig Noone as he slammed the ball into the top corner of the net with just stoppage time remaining of the first-half. Noone going on an impressive run to find space before unleashing a left footed drive into the top corner.
HALF TIME - West Ham United 2-1 Cardiff City
The break saw both managers make a change to their sides as Kevin McNaughton replaced John Brayford at right-back with Mladen Petric replacing Modibo Maiga upfront for the home side.
The Bluebirds were almost on level terms within minutes as they made a bright and positive start to the second half; Jordon Mutch's excellent strike from the edge of the area denied only by an outstanding stop from Hammers' stopper Adrian. From the corner, he was called into action once again, this time Maynard forcing the save from the Hammers' stand in 'keeper.
Further changes saw Tommy Smith replace Joe Mason with Mohamed Diame brought on for the Hammers as goals scorer Ravel Morrison departed.
Lewis was forced into a spectacular one handed save from a Jack Collison volley just after the hour mark, but it was the Bluebirds who were looking the most likely to score the next goal.
Maynard fizzed a free-kick just inches over the bar before the impressive Noone looked to emulate his first-half heroics, cutting inside of young Hammers full-back Leo Chambers before curling his effort just inches wide of the far post.
With fifteen minutes remaining, the equaliser came as deadline day signing Odemwingie fired home his first goal for the club from close range. A mazy run from Mutch opening up the space before prodding his pass towards the open Odemwingie who comfortably provided the finish to draw the Bluebirds level.
Buoyed by their comeback City took the initiative as Noone's latest effort saw him cut inside full-back George McCartney before seeing his shot deflect just wide of the far post.
But as the game entered its final stages it was the Hammers who grabbed the winner as Vaz Te met a Collison cross in front of goal, making no mistake as he headed the Hammers back in front with just three minutes of normal time remaining.
There was still a late chance to force extra time as Odemwingie looked for his second of the night, picking the ball up in the area only to fire over the bar deep into stoppage time.
FULL-TIME - West Ham United 3-2 Cardiff City
Cardiff City: Lewis, Connolly, Hudson (C), Odemwingie, Brayford (McNaughton 45), Noone, Mutch, Cowie, Mason (Smith 55), Maynard (Gestede 90), John. Subs not used: Moore, Gestede,Harris, Lappin, Healey.
Goals: Noone (45), Odemwingie (75)
West Ham United: Adrian, Chambers, Tomkins (c), Collins, McCartney (Rat 82), Taylor, Morrison (Diame 58), Collison, Jarvis, Vaz Te, Maiga (Petric 45). Subs not used: Henderson, Ruddock, Moncur, Nolan.
Goals: Morrison (1), Jarvis (7), Vaz Te (87)
Attendance: 18,611 (Upton Park)