Match Report | Cardiff City 1-0 Birmingham City
Cardiff City earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Birmingham City at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A first-half strike from Jaden Philogene, netting on his home league debut, was enough to see the Bluebirds secure their second Sky Bet Championship win of the season.
Boss Steve Morison made two changes to his side's last league outing against Reading last weekend, with Perry Ng and Philogene coming into the starting XI.
City started the game well and nearly found an early breakthrough, as Ryan Wintle fired an effort just wide of goal after the visitors failed to clear their lines from a Bluebirds attack.
Birmingham reacted well, however, with a long direct ball finding Scott Hogan, but Cédric Kipré used his strength well to deny the Blues forward an attempt at goal.
Minutes later, City had a brilliant double chance to take the lead. Firstly, a strike from Romaine Sawyers was well saved by John Ruddy before Max Watters’ rebound was blocked by the well-positioned Marc Roberts.
With the Bluebirds continuing their attacking momentum, a flurry of chances occurred for Morison's side. One, in particular, saw Wintle find Jamilu Collins, but the defender could only drag his shot across the face of goal.
On 17 minutes, the Bluebirds finally broke the deadlock. After some neat build-up play in which City moved it from left to right, Philogene was on hand to fire into the back of the net after a delightful cross from Callum O’Dowda.
Midway through the first half, Birmingham had a great chance to equalise. Troy Deeney played through Hogan, but Collins made a brilliant last-ditch tackle before the ball was comfortably collected by Ryan Allsop.
Before the break, the Bluebirds had a golden chance to extend their lead. A swift move saw O’Dowda find the path of Watters but the forward was unable to finish past the advancing Ruddy.
With John Eustace's men sitting slightly deeper after the restart, Cardiff controlled the early proceedings. Blues continuously coughed up possession which allowed the home side to commit bodies in attack.
At half-time, Morison introduced Mark Harris, and the Welsh international was straight into the action at CCS, teeing up O’Dowda. Ruddy made a superb diving save to deny the winger from close range on 49 minutes.
As the second half went on, the visitors grew in confidence, and Andy Rinomhota had to be alert to defend a fierce cross from substitute Josh Williams.
On 78 minutes, City produced another magnificent attacking move. Substitute Rubin Colwill played through Harris down the left-hand side, with his delivery finding Kion Etete at the back post, but the striker couldn’t head goalward.
Moments later, City had appeals for a penalty kick turned away by referee Darren Bond, after O’Dowda was brought down inside the area.
Despite withstanding some late pressure from Blues, Morison’s side stood firm to secure an important three points in the Welsh capital.
The Bluebirds return to league action again on Wednesday night (8pm KO), with a trip to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1–0 BIRMINGHAM CITY
Cardiff City: Allsop; Romeo, Kipre, Ng, Collins; Wintle (C), Rinomhota, Sawyers (Colwill 63’); O’Dowda (Ojo 82’), Philogene (Etete 63’), Watters (Harris 45’). Subs not used: Alnwick, Simpson, Ralls.
Birmingham City: Ruddy, Sanderson, Roberts (Williams 54’), Trusty, Colin, James, Chang (Hall 75’), Bacuna (Leko 75’), Placheta, Hogan, Deeney (C) (Jutkiewicz 72’). Subs not used: Etheridge, Friend, Bellingham.