U18 Match Report | Cardiff City 1-2 Queens Park Rangers
Cardiff City U18s were defeated by Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Despite Tanatswa Nyakuhwa’s equaliser in the 45th minute following Jabari Christmas’ header, Lorent Talla’s goal directly from a corner secured the victory for the visitors.
Nyakuhwa had the best chance of the early stages, weaving inside the box, before firing just off target. City looked the bright inside the opening 20 minutes, dominating possession, with Cole Fleming causing problems on right flank.
The Rangers found themselves a rare opportunity in the City box, when a scramble around the penalty spot allowed Kieran Petrie to get a shot away, with his attempt creeping past the post.
In the 30th minute, the R’s took the lead through a free-kick on the edge of the Bluebirds box, with Sam Sackey rattling the crossbar, only for Christmas to head home from close-range.
City reacted well to falling behind, as a long ball left Nyakuhwa with a chance at goal, following a mix-up between the QPR defence and goalkeeper, Conor Clark recovered well to make the save.
On the brink of half-time, the hosts found an equaliser, as Morgan Wigley’s cross allowed a one-two between Lewys Ware and Nyakuhwa, whose low strike from outside the area raced past the keeper to level the game.
Wigley later looked to continue his impressive form of late, latching onto a through ball and rounding the goalkeeper, only for his effort to be cleared off the line.
The R’s had a great chance to take the regain the lead, as a half-cleared effort fell to Teddy Lawrence, whose one-on-one effort was off target.
QPR found the breakthrough in the 79th minute, as Talla’s in-swinging corner found its way into the City net. Despite the Bluebirds applying late pressure, the visitors secured the victory.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1–2 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Cardiff City: Dennis, C. Jones, Giles, Lewis ©, Lawlor, Kenniford, Fleming (Beecher 83’), Ware, Wigley, T. Jones (Twose 66’), Nyakuhwa.
Subs not used: Armstrong, George, Barton.
QPR: Clark, Siqueira, Leahy, Brown ©, Marino (McCann 45’), Manufor, Sackey, Christmas, Lawrence, Talla, Petrie.
Subs not used: Zaperaczynski, Bouhiaoui.
Following the match, U18s Manager Steve Jenkins reflected on the performance:
"I thought first half we played really well," he began. "We moved the ball well, switched it, created problems in the wide areas and went in at 1-1 with a fantastic goal before half-time and I told the players I was really pleased.’’
"Second half, they came out with the momentum even though we had the goal and to be honest we never really got going in the second half.
"I think there was a number of good performances, particularly in the last 20 to 25 minutes of the first half. I think we were in control, obviously it’s disappointing we lost that momentum so it’s the second half I’m looking at to work on; how we can look to gain control.
"I think they made a couple of changes and in the second half we couldn’t get our full-backs on the ball as much and our centre-backs also to help build the play. It made us play a bit more direct so that’s just how it became and we found it difficult picking up second balls.
"We’ll come back Monday, the boys will have a look at the game and their clips and we’ll prepare as we always do.
"We prepare well and I think it’ll be a tough week but it always is. This is what development football is all about; we learn from every game and I’m sure we’ll have a lot to take into consideration from the second half where we knew we weren’t anywhere near what we can be.’’