U23 | CARDIFF CITY 3-0 CRYSTAL PALACE
Cardiff City's U23 side defeated Crystal Palace, 3-0, at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday evening with Frédéric Gounongbe and a double from Kenneth Zohore securing victory.
The Bluebirds squad consisted of an experienced line-up with the likes of Bruno Ecuele Manga, Emyr Huws and Lex Immers named among the starting eleven.
Cardiff got off to a bright start as Kadeem Harris used some trickery to beat the opposition full back and blast a shot on goal to force a save from Kleton Perntreou.
The breakthrough came on 12 minutes as Welsh international Huws’ corner was met in the air by the powerful head of Frédéric Gounongbe.
Minutes later, Kenneth Zohore ghosted through the Palace defence before he tested Perntreou at his front post but the keeper was wise to his intentions. Huws and Gounongbe combined again soon after but the striker poked it wide this time.
Palace forward Randell Williams burst through the Cardiff defence but his ball across the face of goal was read by Manga to prevent any frightful chance for the away side inside the opening half hour.
Matthew Kennedy looked like he was away on 38 minutes but the Palace defender got his claws in to drag him back and concede a free kick. Kennedy took the resulting set piece and went close. The Bluebirds advantage was doubled just moments later though.
A fantastic low ball from captain Tom James found Zohore in the box, who poked the ball past the keeper to put Cardiff two ahead five minutes before the break. Seconds later it could have been three as Semi Ajayi smashed it narrowly wide.
Palace were hoping to arise from the dead after the break but it was the home side who had the brighter start to the second half as Zohore got on the end of a cross to score his second of the game on 55 minutes.
Brian Murphy had a quiet evening, but reacted superbly when called upon on 63 minutes, with a fine stop to deny Eagles forward Williams.
With a quarter of an hour to go, Murphy pulled off another fantastic save low at the feet of Andre Coker to deny the substitute a goal.
The young Bluebirds finished the match with ten men as Gounongbe left the field of play with an injury, but City comfortably held on to secure all three points in an entertaining match.
U23/DVP FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3–0 CRYSTAL PALACE (Gounongbe 12’, Zohore 40’ 53’)
Cardiff City: Murphy, James (c), John (O’Sullivan 72’), Huws, Manga, Ajayi, Harris (Tutonda 57’), Kennedy, Gounongbe, Immers (Wharton 57’), Zohore. Unused Subs: O’Reilly, Baker.
Crystal Palace: Perntreou, King-Elliot, Akiotu, McGregor, Wynter (c), Phillips, Wan-Bissaka, Husin, Andrews (Coker 65’), Williams (Sturgess 86’), Lumeka (Lokilo 68’). Unused Subs: Funnell, Flanagan.