Match ends, Cardiff City 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Cardiff City edged closer to securing their Championship status for next season as Sory Kaba’s equaliser frustrated play-off hopefuls West Bromwich Albion.
Daryl Dike’s classy volley had put Albion on course for victory.
But Kaba’s second-half header earned Cardiff what may prove a crucial point in their fight against relegation.
The draw leaves Sabri Lamouchi’s team 21st in the table, four points clear of the drop zone.
West Brom stay eighth, although they slip to five points adrift of the top six.
Cardiff will be the happier of the two sides given that they came from behind to earn the first draw of Lamouchi’s reign, even if Carlos Corberan’s Albion could take some satisfaction having halted a run of four straight away league defeats.
Lamouchi has put up pictures of the Championship table at Cardiff’s training ground to remind his players of their task this spring – and they will make slightly prettier reading thanks to Kaba’s intervention.
Cardiff are the division’s lowest scorers, but had the first sight of goal when Jaden Philogene dragged wide from range.
Albion’s lead came courtesy of their first meaningful attack, with Cardiff losing a midfield scrap and failing to recover as Marc Albrighton fed Jed Wallace in space down the right.
Wallace had time to pick out the perfect cross, and Dike also went unchallenged as he finished with composure and quality, stroking a volley low into the net.
Cardiff might have responded within five minutes when Callum O’Dowda’s drive ricocheted into the path of Isaak Davies, but he could only shoot wide as he stretched at the far post.
West Brom were presented with the chance to double their lead early in the second half when O’Dowda cut out Jayson Molumby’s through ball and inadvertently teed up Wallace.
Goalkeeper Ryan Allsop saved Cardiff, pushing Wallace’s first-time shot over the bar.
The home side were struggling to make an impression at the other end, but their first effort on target of the night brought the equaliser.
Ryan Wintle was the creator, battling for possession and then delivering a perfect cross for substitute Kaba to head home, Albion keeper Josh Griffiths getting a firm hand to the ball but watching as it rolled inside his left-hand post.
Adam Reach thought he had delivered an instant response as he steered in the rebound after John Swift’s long-range shot was parried, but this time the offside flag rescued Cardiff.
As the contest opened up a little late on, Philogene forced Griffiths to save at his near post before Wallace’s poked effort beat Allsop but rolled agonisingly wide.
Cardiff City manager Sabri Lamouchi:
“To be honest I would have signed for a point before the game. Even if we play so well second half, and for the first time we come back into the game (to get a point since Lamouchi took charge), and the first draw for us with me.
“The attitude and performance in the second half, we tried to disturb them. We missed too much against a good team, but one more lovely goal from Kaba.
“It’s an important point for us, especially against a good team. They are playing for a different target, probably the play-off.
“We changed many things – systems, players, many tired in the second half – but we never gave up and that is a positive.”
West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan:
“We feel like we didn’t achieve the target we set out to achieve today, especially when we score one goal at the beginning of the game.
“The key for us it to analyse why we didn’t use enough of the possibilities we had in the first half and second half why we were defending more than we wanted to be defending.
“The dressing room now feels like one point is not enough. When we play again, we have to recover that feeling – that we are only happy and proud when we win the three points.
“We need to come back after the international break stronger and achieve the targets we have.”
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 2RomeoBooked at 68mins
- 10OjoSubstituted forM Harrisat 71′minutesBooked at 88mins
- 39DaviesSubstituted forKabaat 45′minutes
- 9EteteSubstituted forRinomhotaat 81′minutes
- 29M Harris
- 6AjayiBooked at 90mins
- 15PietersSubstituted forGardner-Hickmanat 84′minutes
- 22AlbrightonSubstituted forThomas-Asanteat 70′minutes
- 14MolumbySubstituted forFurlongat 84′minutes
- 35YokusluBooked at 33mins
- 19SwiftSubstituted forRogicat 70′minutes
- 17J Wallace
- 12DikeSubstituted forReachat 58′minutes
- Leigh Doughty
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Cardiff City 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Delay in match because of an injury Andy Rinomhota (Cardiff City).
Foul by Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion).
Andy Rinomhota (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Mark Harris (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mark Harris (Cardiff City).
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ryan Wintle.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Darnell Furlong replaces Jayson Molumby.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Taylor Gardner-Hickman replaces Erik Pieters.
Substitution, Cardiff City. Andy Rinomhota replaces Kion Etete.
Attempt missed. Jed Wallace (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Brandon Thomas-Asante with a through ball.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Callum O’Dowda.
Foul by Jed Wallace (West Bromwich Albion).
Jaden Philogene (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Joshua Griffiths.
Attempt saved. Jaden Philogene (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kion Etete.