Cardiff City tasted their first defeat of the Sky Bet Championship season with an unfortunate 2-0 loss to Hull City.
TIGERS DRAW FIRST BLOOD
With the visit of the Tigers, Cardiff were going toe-to-toe with one of the strongest squads in the division. However, after Steve Bruce’s men looked to get on the front foot, the home side came within inches of an early opener.
Kenwyne Jones’s determined running set up Kagisho Dikgacoi, and the South African international took a great touch before hooking the ball towards the far post, where it was cleared away from the lurking Jones and Joe Mason.
After a strong start, Russell Slade’s men then found themselves behind after just eight minutes. The Tigers hit on the counter as the onrushing Mo Diamé dispatched a loose ball once Matt Connolly and Lee Peltier had combined to keep Abel Hernández at bay.
THE BLUEBIRDS’ ROUSING RESPONSE
While Jones and Sean Morrison both strived to bring the Bluebirds level, Diamé looked to double his tally with an audacious left-footed effort from forty-five yards, which was comfortably dealt with by David Marshall.
The Tigers were executing an organised game plan with five men at the back, and threatened again through Sam Clucas’s volley. However, the home side had the vast majority of the ball in the final third, created several chances, and were twice unlucky not to be awarded a spot-kick. First, Mason looked to be impeded as he chested past Tom Huddlestone, before a high boot in the area also went unpunished.
The match had reached boiling point at Cardiff City Stadium, as the home fans roared their side on in search of what would have been a deserved equaliser. Both Morrison and Peter Whittingham also went close before the half-time whistle sounded.
HERNÁNDEZ SUCKER PUNCH
The Bluebirds started the second half as they had finished the first, committing men forward to find a leveller. Slade’s troops were playing some high-octane football, putting the Hull back line under siege.
Indeed, Sammy Ameobi was then introduced to the fray and won an immediate corner – one of a total of twelve for the Bluebirds – as the home side kept up their relentless pressure. It felt as though a Cardiff goal was almost inevitable, but as Jones, Ralls and the newly introduced Bruno Manga saw chances come and go, time was running out for them to find that elusive equaliser.
With all of the Bluebirds efforts focussed on attack, Hull’s pace on the counter through Sone Aluko and Hernández caused occasional scares. Marshall had been on hand to deal with everything that came his way, until Hernández’s run saw him get behind the City defence and slot home from a tight angle, leaving the Bluebirds frustrated to record their first defeat of the 2015/16 campaign.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-2 HULL CITY
Scorers: Diamé ‘8, Hernández ’80.
Cardiff City: Marshall; Fábio, Morrison, Connolly (Manga 46), Malone; Pilkington, Dikgacoi, Whittingham, Ralls (Noone 78), Pilkington (Ameobi 63); Mason, Jones.
Subs not used: Moore, Malone, Gunnarsson, Revell.
Hull City: McGregor, Odubajo, Dawson, Bruce, Davies, Robertson (Elmohamady 69), Huddlestone, Diamé, Clucas, Hernández (Akpom 81), Aluko (Meyler 84).
Subs not used: Jakupović, Taylor, Hayden, Luer.