Match Report: Cardiff City 3-3 Reading (1-4 on penalties)
Cardiff City exited the FA Cup at the Fourth Round following penalties and a 3-3 draw after extra-time at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Josh Murphy, Robert Glatzel, Omar Richards and Andy Rinomhota scored in normal time. Winger Murphy and Yakou Méïté netted inside extra-time, with the Royals then winning 4-1 on penalties.
Neil Harris gave a debut to 18-year-old Joel Bagan in one of seven changes made from the 1-1 draw with Reading in the league last time out.
The Bluebirds’ opening opportunity came after seven minutes. Will Vaulks threaded a pass to attacker Murphy and from just outside the box he shot agonisingly over.
Determined Murphy responded by scoring the opener 12 minutes later. The forward sped ahead and from just outside the area, unleashed a powerful low drive that sealed his third goal of the campaign.
The Royals’ first effort on target came a minute past the half hour mark, as George Pușcaș’ header was comfortably gathered by Neil Etheridge.
23-year-old Méïté had a great chance to find the visiting side’s equaliser with 36 minutes gone. Charlie Adam’s distanced free-kick off the left wing found the forward, whose scorpion kick was kept out by stopper Etheridge.
With five minutes of the opening 45 remaining, Gavin Whyte looked to double the Bluebirds’ lead. The 24-year-old found himself in a similar position to forward Murphy’s opener, but the attempt flew straight into goalkeeper Walker’s arms.
After the interval, it took Cardiff City nine minutes to add a second through forward Glatzel. Midfielder Vaulks’ lofted ball from central midfield sent the 26-year-old through on goal and he made no mistake in scoring his fifth of the season.
29-year-old Etheridge denied Reading once again after 61 minutes. Substitute Sone Aluko hammered on target from the edge of the area, but the goalkeeper strongly saved.
The away team did get one back with 21 minutes of the 90 remaining, as winger Richards headed in from Tyler Blackett’s cross off the left flank.
Reading went on to equalise ten minutes later through substitute Andy Rinomhota, who found the net from a volley following a scramble in the box.
Etheridge made sure that midfielder Rinomhota did not secure a brace seven minutes later. The Philippines international got his body behind the powerful strike from the area’s edge.
Into extra-time, Cardiff City and Reading continued to hunt the lead and two minutes in, substitute Tom Sang had his shot from the edge of the box saved, before forward Aluko was kept out from a similar position.
The battling Bluebirds did regain their advantage from their next attack. Pacey Murphy beat the onrushing Walker to the ball inside the box and poked into the bottom right corner.
City eyed a fourth and forced 28-year-old Walker into two saves within the space of a minute. Seven minutes into extra-time, Aden Flint’s back-post header was kept out, before Callum Paterson’s powerful drive from the edge of the area was saved.
Dangerman Murphy came close to sealing his hat-trick with one minute of extra-time’s opening 15 remaining. Centre-back Flint cut the ball back to the Bluebirds No.11, who smashed on target from the box’s edge, but stopper Walker denied him.
Four minutes following the extra-time interval, 26-year-old Vaulks came close to the home side’s fourth. The Wales international rifled a half-volley just over the crossbar.
With four minutes of extra-time remaining, the away side equalised for a second time through striker Méïté’s close-range finish.
Penalties commenced and goals from Garath McCleary, Gabriel Osho, Jordan Obita and forward Aluko sent the Royals through to the Fifth Round, with Marlon Pack netting City's sole penalty-kick from the 12 yard spot.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3-3 READING (1-4 ON PENS)
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Flint, Vaulks, Glatzel, Murphy, Pack, Whyte (Sang 91’), Richards, Bamba, Ward (Paterson 77’), Bagan (Bennett 82’). Subs not used: Smithies, Morrison, Bowen, Mayembe.
Reading: Walker, Gunter, Morrison, Swift, Méïté, Blackett (Obita 97’), Adam (McCleary 46’), Richards, Pelé (Rinomhota 63’), Osho, Pușcaș (Aluko 46’). Subs not used: Andresson, Baldock, Dorsett.