Carabao Cup R2 report | Birmingham City 1-3 Cardiff City
City booked their place in the third-round of the Carabao Cup, as they defeated Birmingham City away from home 3-1.
Goals from Rubin Colwill, Ryan Wintle, and Kion Etete fired the Bluebirds to victory, in what was an incredible team performance. Scott Hogan did make it 2-1 in the second half, but City held on to become the first team to defeat the Midlands side this season.
Manager Erol Bulut elected to make ten changes from the side that defeated Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, with Perry Ng the only player retaining his place. There was a debut for Icelandic goalkeeper Alex Rúnnarson, while Ryan Wintle took the captain’s armband.
It only took three minutes for the away side to break the deadlock. Wintle sprayed the ball out wide to Karlan Grant, who took on his man and drove into the box. His low cross found Rubin Colwill, who tapped in from inside the six-yard box. Throughout the early phases, the Bluebirds attack swarmed over the Birmingham defence, who didn’t have much of an answer to Bulut’s side.
More City chances followed, both through Kion Etete. His first one went narrowly over the bar, while his second was a deft touch at the near post that trickled wide. Meanwhile, the Blues only had a couple of shots on goal in the first period. Their best opportunity came from a Juninho Bacuna free kick, but Rúnarsson produced a spellbinding save to keep him out.
If any team were likely to score a second in the first half, it was going to be the visitors. Grant and Ollie Tanner always looked a danger down the wings, but City couldn’t quite put the ball in the back of the net. However, it was they who headed into the break leading.
The home side started the second half the brighter, but a combination of slack passing and poor finishing meant that Rúnarsson wasn’t tested in the Bluebirds net. While in the ascendency, Birmingham’s task became far harder, as Lukas Jutkiewicz was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Mahlon Romeo.
Now with a man advantage, City set off hunting for their second goal. Grant was the first to have a go, but his effort was well saved by Neil Etheridge. But there was nothing the former Bluebird could do ten minutes later as City found their second. Tanner collected a ball out wide before driving a cross into Colwill. The Welsh international laid it off to Wintle, who placed the ball perfectly in the bottom corner.
The two-goal advantage City held quickly disappeared, as the hosts pulled one back two minutes after Wintle’s goal. Emmanuel Longelo picked out the run of Scott Hogan, who had split the City defence, before placing his effort through the legs of Rúnarsson.
As the game dwindled into its final phases, John Eustace's side tried to find an equaliser; Sam Cosgrove went close, but his shot flashed past the post. With the Blues committing men forward, City broke forward with Kieron Evans. His cross found Etete at the far post, who fired the ball into the roof of the net, as Bulut’s team booked their place in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
The third-round draw will take place on Wednesday August 30th, while the Bluebirds will next be in action away at Ipswich Town on Saturday September 2nd.
FINAL SCORE: BIRMINGHAM CITY 1-3 CARDIFF CITY
Birmingham City: Etheridge, Sanderson ©, Bacuna (Gardner 77’), Jutkiewicz, James, Longelo, Oakley, Long (Roberts 66’), Stansfield (Hogan 66’), Sunjic (Cosgrove 66’), Hall (Miyoshi 46’). Subs not used: Mayo, Buchanan, Khela, Donovan.
Cardiff City: Rúnarsson, Romeo, Ng (McGuinness 72’), Adams, Rinomhota, Wintle © (Ashford 72’), Sawyers, R. Colwill, Tanner (Ugbo 87’), Grant (Evans 60’), Etete. Subs not used: Alnwick, Semenyo, Campbell, J. Colwill, Wigley.