Three in three for Pilkington as City see off Sparta
Sparta Rotterdam.Cardiff City ended their pre-season tour of the Netherlands with a 1-0 victory over
Conditions couldn’t have been more different from the warm climes that welcomed the Bluebirds to their fixture earlier in the week, with wet and muggy skies setting the backdrop for a physical and tactical clash.
The native side started with intensity, but Cardiff soon settled and tested the Rotterdam goal; Joe Mason first saw his effort blocked at the death by goalkeeper Ricardo Kieboom, before Eoin Doyle saw his close-range header ruled out for offside. Sparta tried to direct their efforts through number nine Roland Bergkamp – nephew of Arsenal great, Dennis – but their forward endeavours never looked like resulting in serious box-work for goalkeeper, Simon Moore.
Into the second half and the Bluebird became more dominant, working the flanks well with Declan John linking up impressively with Sammy Ameobi and Anthony Pilkington down the left hand channel. It was the latter of these that brought about the only goal of the game – and in spectacular fashion.
Carrying the ball from a central position towards the edge of the Rotterdam box, Pilkington stretched the retreating defenders before unleashing a fantastic left-footed strike into the roof of Rotterdam’s goal. It came from a full 20 yards out – and marked the midfielder’s third pre-season goal in as many games.
The game drew to a close with little further incident, though in the final five minutes, sprung into life. Firstly, Federico Macheda was dismissed for a second bookable offence, before deep into stoppage time Simon Moore was called upon to make a superb reaction save from close range from Pieter Langedijk.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 SPARTA ROTTERDAM
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