Fulham 1-2 Cardiff City, Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg: report, ratings and verdict

VS.

Fulham 4-2-3-1

1

2

Cardiff City 4-2-3-1

Half Time: 1 - 1 Craven Cottage ( Attendance: NA (FULHAM WIN 3-2 ON AGGREGATE) )
1 min

Fulham booked their place in the Championship Play-Off Final with a 3-2 aggregate win over Cardiff City following a 2-1 defeat on the night at Craven Cottage.

Leading 2-0 from the First Leg of their Semi-Final encounter, Cardiff reduced the deficit in the eighth minute as Joe Ralls swung a whipped cross into the penalty area that defender Curtis Nelson powerfully headed home.

However, their joy was short lived as Fulham equalised seconds later – former Bluebird Bobby Reid threading a ball into the path of Neeskens Kebano to make it 3-1 on aggregate.

Fulham continued to pile the pressure on for the remainder of the half with Anthony Knockaert twice coming close – first a low strike parried away by Cardiff keeper Alex Smithies, before the Frenchman’s second attempt flashed just over the crossbar.

Cardiff scored early again after the interval – Lee Tomlin the first to react after Marek Rodak parried a header from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing into the path of the substitute who volleyed home.

And Fulham survived a stoppage time scare to book their place at Wembley as Callum Paterson flicked a header into the path of Robert Glatzel only for his volley to go inches over the bar.

Key Points

Check out all the key talking points and reaction from London Football Scene below…

Key Moment

Robert Glatzel’s stoppage time near miss would have sent the game into extra-time – showing just how fine the margins were on the night.

Moan of the Match

For the amount of chances Cardiff created, they will be left frustrated by a lack of cutting edge that ultimately cost them a Wembley trip.

Talking Point

Already without talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic through injury, Fulham then saw Neeskens Kebano forced off during this game – will either recover in time for Wembley?

Man of the Match

Marek Rodak – conceded two but prevented so many more with a  commanding goalkeeping performance.

Tweet of the Match

Referee Watch

Paul Tierney (Lancashire) – proved why he officiates at the top level, a strong performance in a high pressured game.

Atmosphere

Fulham fans relish big nights at Craven Cottage, but the empty stands proved another reminder of the times we are currently living in.

Verdict

Fulham endured a tough night but the commanding result in the First Leg was enough for Scott Parker’s men to scrape through to face Brentford in the final on Tuesday.

Line Ups

Fulham 4-2-3-1

Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan (Le Marchand, 90); Reed, Cairney; Knockaert (Odoi, 76), Onomah, Kebano (Kamara, 46); Reid

Subs not used:

Bettinelli, Mawson, Sessegnon, McDonald, Johansen, Cavaleiro

Booked

Rodak, Christie, Reid, Onomah

Cardiff City 4-2-3-1

Smithies; Bacuna, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Pack ((Tomlin, 46) (Whyte, 84)), Ralls; Murphy (Paterson, 81), Vaulks, Hoilett (Mendez-Laing, 46); Ward (Glatzel, 71)

Subs not used:

Etheridge, Sanderson, Bamba, Smith

Booked

Bacuna, Morrison, Vaulks, Ralls

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