Fulham advanced to the Championship play- off final despite falling to a 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City at Craven Home on Thursday night.
It at first looked like an unforgettable resurgence might have been on the cards early on as Curtis Nelson nodded in for the visitors, just for the in-form Neeskens Kebano to strike less than half a minute later on to equalise on the night. Alternative Lee Tomlin then netted with his first touch after his intro to ensure the tie lived in the final 40 minutes. The Bluebirds were not rather able to score what would have been an invaluable equaliser, significance Fulham are now simply 90 minutes from an instantaneous return to the Premier League.
2 early objectives at Craven Home
Behind by 2 from the first- leg, it was crucial that the Bluebirds delighted in a fast start at Craven Home which is precisely what took place. From a corner, Marek Rodak stopped working to come for the ball and with Nelson out-strengthening his protectors, it was a simple header into the back of the net from close quarters.
The visitors were rather ignorant though as simply 24 seconds later on, Fulham equalised. Bobby Decordova-Reid was approved far excessive space down the right and played the ideal ball to Kebano. He just required one touch as he coolly slotted home for his 5th goal in simply 4 matches.
Scott Parker’s men had more possibilities to extend their aggregate benefit, with Josh Onomah and Ryan Christie having efforts obstructed, prior to Anthony Knockaert at first had a low, curling shot pawed away by Alex Smithies and after that likewise fired simply over.
Tomlin has instantaneous effect
Simply as they carried out in the first-half, Cardiff delighted in a lightning start to the second duration to stop Fulham’s momentum. With Tomlin and Nathanial Mendez-Laing presented at the break, the 2 played a crucial part as the Bluebirds transported themselves back into the tie. A long toss was badly handled by Fulham, with Mendez-Laing producing an effective header. Rodak responded outstandingly however the ball bounced off of Michael Hector and directly into the course of Tomlin who scored.
Danny Ward then truly need to have put the Bluebirds level on aggregate however simply stopped working to get on completion of Leandro Bacuna’s unsafe cross.
With the visitors pushing frantically for an equaliser, they were constantly going to be susceptible defensively and they got 2 cautions from another alternative Aboubakar Kamara. The Frenchman struck 2 shots that were stunningly come by Cardiff keeper Smithies, the latter in some way getting tipped onto the post.
Rodak then duplicated those exceptional responses from his opposite number as he went out well to reject Mendez-Laing, Hector and Will Vaulks in fast succession. The final chance of the match fell to Robert Glatzel however he might just blaze it over, permitting Fulham to commemorate their development to the play- off final.
This was definitely a test for Fulham as they had to stay persistent to stop a Cardiff side that pressed throughout the entiregame They passed that difficulty with flying colours. It wasn’t rather a motivating efficiency from the hosts however they will not care one jot after they reserve their tickets to what appearances like a thrilling playoff final versus West London matches Brentford.
Fulham: Rodak (7 ); Bryan (7) (Le Marchand (N/A), 90 ′), Ream (6 ), Hector (6 ), Christie (6 ); Cairney (7 ), Reed (6 ); Kebano (7) (Kamara (6 ), 45 ′), Onomah (7 ), Knockaert (6) (Odoi (N/A), 76 ′); Reid (6 ).
Cardiff City: Smithies (7 ); Bennett (6 ), Nelson (7 ), Morrison (6 ), Bacuna (6 ); Load (5) (Tomlin (7 ), 45 ′ (Whyte (N/A), 84 ′)), Vaulks (7 ); Murphy (6) (Paterson (N/A), 81 ′), Ralls (6 ), Hoillett (5) (Mendez-Laing (6 ), 45 ′); Ward (6) (Glatzel (6 ), 72 ′).
Objectives: Nelson (8 ′), Kebano (9 ′), Tomlin (47 ′)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Yellow Cards: Morrison (35 ′), Bacuna (45 +3 ′), Dercodova-Reid (50 ′), Rodak (59 ′), Christie (70 ′), Onomah (90 +4 ′)
Red Cards: N/A