Match Report | Cardiff City 0-1 Sunderland
City suffered a one-nil defeat against Sunderland at Cardiff City Stadium on Easter Monday.
Dennis Cirkin's tap-in was the only goal of a tight encounter.
Sabri Lamouchi made one change to the side that defeated Blackpool on Friday, with Sheyi Ojo replacing Joe Ralls.
Chances in the early stages were few and far between. Both sides had their first sights of goal in quick succession, but neither goalkeeper was tested. Pierre Ekwah struck the ball wide from 20-yards with 17 minutes on the clock, before Jaden Philogene saw a low shot go similarly off target two minutes later.
It continued to be long range chances only for the opening half hour. Ryan Allsop made a smart stop to keep out Abdoullah Ba's powerful low strike after 25 minutes.
There was frustration amongst the home support, with City struggling to create regular opportunities. The away side continued their approach with more long distance shots. Lynden Gooch's curling effort just after the half hour mark was headed out by Mark McGuinness, with Danny Batth heading the corner kick that followed over the bar.
The City boss made a double change before the interval, introducing Jack Simpson and Andy Rinomhota for Jaden Philogene and Ojo.
The away side had the ball in the net soon after these substitutes, but Jack Clarke was correctly ruled offside after heading in. The Bluebirds quickly had a good chance of their own to open the scoring, but Sory Kaba headed straight at Anthony Patterson.
After a goalless first half, Kion Etete was introduced at half-time for City, replacing Connor Wickham. Our number nine, returning to the squad after injury, almost made the perfect impact four minutes after coming on. The forward was played in down the left and tested Patterson with a low strike, that the Sunderland goalkeeper just tipped away.
It was the away side who found the first goal with an hour gone. Allsop tipped Alex Pritchard's free-kick onto the post, but Dennis Cirkin was first to the rebound, tapping in at close range.
City looked for a response to this opener, with Lamouchi immediately bringing skipper Ralls into the action in place of Romaine Sawyers. Soon after this change, in-form forward Kaba was unable to divert his volley goalwards, McGuinness' header was saved and Ralls saw a volley of his own headed clear with the Bluebirds finally forcing the momentum in front of their home fans.
A late comeback sadly wasn't on the cards despite the pressure. City unable to find a way through against the Black Cats, suffering defeat at home on Monday afternoon.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-1 SUNDERLAND
Cardiff City: Allsop, McGuinness, Kipré, Ng, Romeo (Davies 79'), Philogene (Rinomhota 36'), Wintle, Sawyers (Ralls 61'), Ojo (Simpson 36'), Wickham (Etete 46'), Kaba. Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Harris.
Sunderland: Patterson, Cirkin, Batth, Gooch, Diallo, Ba (Roberts 72'), Clarke, Pritchard (Gelhardt 79'), Neil, Hume, Ekwah (Michut 72'). Subs Not Used: Bass, Taylor, Lihadji, Anderson.