Match Report | Millwall 2-0 Cardiff City
Cardiff City were defeated by Millwall at The Den on Saturday afternoon.
In a contest of chances both sides, Charlie Cresswell’s second-half header, along with Benik Afobe’s late goal, proved to be decisive.
Boss Steve Morison made two changes to the side that fell to a defeat to Luton Town last time out, with Romaine Sawyers and Jaden Philogene coming into the starting XI.
The hosts started brightly and forced an early chance, as summer recruit Zian Flemming struck from the edge of the box into the hands of City goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.
Morison’s men looked dangerous on the counter however, as Mahlon Romeo found space on the right to cross into the area, only for his delivery to evade everyone in the box. In another positive attack, loanee Philogene’s shrewd footwork led to him firing narrowly over the woodwork.
City were agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 13th minute, as Ryan Wintle’s ball through found Max Watters, who picked out Philogene to head inches wide of the post.
Down the other end, Gary Rowett’s side also went close, once again through Flemming, who curled an effort past the post. Fellow summer signing Andreas Voglsammer also found space to shoot, but Allsop was on-hand once more to make the save.
As the Bluebirds soaked up pressure in the opening period, the hosts’ midfielder George Saville found space to head at goal, forcing Allsop into another save.
City continued to pose a threat however as Philogene cut inside from the left and curled just wide of the post. Just before the break, Morison’s side had the best chance of the opening half, as some brilliant work from Niles Nkounkou saw the left-back deliver for Sheyi Ojo, who turned the ball onto the woodwork at the back post.
The CIty boss looked for reinforcements from the bench at the interval, introducing Mark Harris and Callum Robinson, the latter for his City debut, having joined on a permanent deal from West Bromwich Albion during the week.
Harris went close to making a swift impact, cutting inside from the left and curling a fine effort onto the post, as the Bluebirds hit the woodwork for a second time.
The hosts took the lead in the 62nd minute, as Cresswell rose highest at a corner to head home. As City pushed for an equaliser, Nkounkou’s fantastic run forward saw the left-back cut inside and fire at goal, only to be denied by a fine save from Bartosz Białkowski.
In another Bluebirds chance, Joe Ralls’ dangerous corner was headed goalwards by Perry Ng, but Białkowski made the save once more.
In the 90th minute, the hosts doubled their lead through substitute Afobe, who cut inside and found the net.
The Bluebirds return to league action next weekend, welcoming Hull City to Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday (10/09), 3pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: MILLWALL 2–0 CARDIFF CITY
Millwall: Białkowski, Wallace, Hutchinson © (Cresswell 48’), Cooper, Mitchell, Bradshaw (Afobe 62’), Flemming (Honeyman 89’), Shackleton, Styles, Voglsammer (Burey 62’), Saville (Malone 62’). Subs not used: Long, McNamara.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Romeo, Kipré, Ng, Nkounkou, Wintle ©, Rinomhota, Sawyers (Ralls 69’), Ojo (Harris 45’), Philogene (Whyte 69’), Watters (Robinson 45’). Subs not used: Alnwick, Simpson, Sang.