U21 Match Report | Cardiff City 0-1 Wolves
Cardiff City’s U21 suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, in their fourth game of the Premier League Cup campaign.
The visitors made a quick start to the game. He Zhenyu was put through, but Matt Turner came off his line early to make the save. The rebound fell to Fraser Harper, but the experienced Curtis Nelson cleared his effort off the line.
After the early scare, the Bluebirds settled into the game and implemented a high press, but their efforts were undone on the counter.
Fabien Reynolds picked up the ball on the wing and his cross found Harper, who managed to turn and fire his effort past Turner.
Cardiff grew back into the game well. Isaak Davies pushed back the Wolves defence with a majestic run, but his effort from range was well saved by Andreas Sondergaard.
The hosts continued their push for an equaliser. Cameron Antwi and Jack Leahy did well to rob possession away from Wolverhampton, but their execution in the final third wasn’t quite coming off.
Morgan Wigley was next to try and conjure up an opportunity, as he ran up the by-line and left the Wolverhampton players in his wake, but Aaron Keto-Diyawa came back well to nick the ball away from the City forward.
Cardiff certainly looked like the likelier side to score after the goal, but they couldn’t find it and they went into the dressing room trailing by one.
Darren Purse introduced Gabriele Biancheri at halftime, and it was him that almost scored the equaliser.
Latching onto a looped through ball, Biancheri took the ball down well, before opening up his body to shoot, but Sondergaard produced a diving save to thwart the substitute.
Wolverhampton sent a reminder of what they can do, as Kam Kandola floated free at the back post, but his shot was blocked superbly by Nelson.
City hit back and almost scored on the break. Wigley did well to take the ball up the line, and his cross found Leahy at the back post, and instead of heading on goal, decided to nod down to a teammate, but there was no blue shirt around to put the ball in the net.
Biancheri again had an opportunity to score, but he couldn’t get enough power on his shot, after a pinpoint cross from Wigley.
With 15 minutes left to play, Wolves substitute Dom Plank cut inside from the wing and his shot took a deflection and almost looped over Turner into the net, but the keeper produced a wonderful save to tip the ball over the bar.
Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages, but neither could find one, and it was Wolverhampton who left the Welsh capital with all three points.
City will next travel up to Wolverhampton on Saturday, December 10th for the return fixture.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY U21 0-1 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS U21
Cardiff City: Turner, Macnamara, T. Davies, Morrison (Kenniford 79’), Nelson, Antwi, Semeyo, Pritchard © (Jefferies 55’), I. Davies (Biancheri 46’), Leahy, Wigley. Subs not used: Dennis, Clay.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sondergaard, Kaleta, Keto-Diyawa, Scicluna, Mabete, Kandola, Reynolds (McLeod 64’), Harper (Voice 82’), He (Plank 74’), Hodnett, Harkin ©. Subs not used: Amos.
Following the final whistle, U21s Manager Darren Purse gave his assessment on the match.
“We didn’t do the basics well enough today,” Darren began. “We were average in possession; we were naïve at times and that naivety has cost us. We said to the boys at Reading last week that a goal is going to win you the game, especially when these games are so tight, but unlike against Reading, we were on the wrong end of it this week.
“It’s a tough game to take. Did we deserve to win it? No, because we didn’t do enough. Did we deserve to get beat? Probably not. It was a game of fine margins and ultimately, they had the quality when it mattered to nick a result.”