Ipswich failed to reclaim second place in the Championship as Cardiff struck twice in stoppage time for a remarkable 2-1 victory.

Kieffer Moore seemed to have returned to haunt his former club 11 minutes from time and put Ipswich on the brink of collecting three precious points in the Welsh capital.

But Ryan Wintle punished slack marking in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Ipswich failed to deal with Rubin Colwill’s cross and Callum O’Dowda’s knockdown.

But that was not the end of the drama as five minutes later, and with virtually the last kick of the match, Perry Ng hooked the ball towards the far post at a chaotic corner and O’Dowda volleyed home.

The defeat leaves Ipswich a point behind Leeds, who had moved in to second spot after Friday’s win at Sheffield Wednesday and possess superior goal difference than the Tractor Boys.

Cardiff were high on confidence after three successive wins and their lively start reflected that.

David Turnbull’s rasping effort from distance was saved with some discomfort by Vaclav Hladky, and the Ipswich goalkeeper was again needed from the resulting corner to keep the Bluebirds at bay.

The ball fell to Josh Bowler at the far post and Hladaky kept out his volley with an outstretched foot.

Ng seemed certain to convert the rebound with the goal gaping, but his scuffed shot allowed Moore to clear off the line.

Karlan Grant set up Josh Wilson-Esbrand for an opening blocked by Luke Woolfenden’s intervention and Hladaky held on to Bowler’s drive at the second attempt.

Ipswich did not look like a side that had scored in 12 consecutive games, struggling to play through midfield and supply Moore with tempting crosses against his old club.

Moore had managed an early header collected with ease by Ethan Horvath – Ipswich’s solitary on-target effort in the opening period – while the towering target man flicked wide after Wes Burns had raided down the right.

Ipswich began to get a foothold in the contest as half-time approached, but Cardiff went close again as Grant wriggled free just outside the box and fired over.

There was a lengthy pause after the interval as Moore and Dimitrios Goutas clashed heads.

Moore came off worse and was only able to continue after being patched up with a couple of headbands.

Ipswich sent on Omari Hutchinson and Nathan Broadhead, fit again after a two-game injury lay-off, to find some fluency in the final quarter.

Cardiff goalkeeper Ethan Horvath had to react to bat away Hutchinson’s howitzer but he was left helpless after Harness spotted Moore.

Nat Phillips stood off Moore for the first time in the contest and the Wales striker took his opportunity, burying a left-footed shot across Horvath.

But there was a lethal sting in the tail and the late goals from Wintle and O’Dowda ensured Cardiff maintained their late bid for a play-off spot.

Carlos Corberan hailed the impact of West Brom’s January recruitment drive as two new signings scored in his side’s 2-0 victory over Cardiff.

Winger Mikey Johnston, who arrived in the window on loan from Celtic, opened the scoring after just 30 seconds before Bristol City loanee Andreas Weimann emerged from the bench to secure the points in the 80th minute.

West Brom’s fifth win on the spin on home soil was significantly influenced by the new recruits, who have turned the heat up on Corberan’s pre-existing attacking options in competing for places – but that is something the Spaniard now relishes when selecting his team.

“It’s necessary to have these options,” Corberan said. “It’s something key, because if you don’t rotate the players, at the end you have more injuries.

“For us, as a club, it was necessary for us to add more attacking options, because we needed to increase the options we had. Right now, we’re using the players, because it’s necessary to have that impact from the bench.

“Our players now know that we have now good options. They believe in the team-mates they have. Our attacking players know that if they’re not at 100 per cent, we have others who will be. They understand it’s a strength we have and must use.

“It can never be a problem, to have two or three players competing in every position – now we have those alternatives.”

West Brom effectively began the match a goal ahead when Tom Fellows crossed for fellow winger Johnston, who stroked the ball home after just 30 seconds.

Cardiff tried to draw level prior to half-time, but Josh Wilson-Esbrand did not sufficiently worry Alex Palmer with his shot from distance.

Palmer would have been concerned, though, when Kion Etete met Aaron Ramsey’s header at the back post, and West Brom were thankful when the centre forward skewed his attempt over the bar from close range.

With it went the visitors’ most significant opening of the evening, and they were punished shortly afterwards when Jed Wallace collected a through-ball on the right and fired a cross in for Weimann to turn home.

For Cardiff manager Erol Bulut, there was only regret that his side did not take their one significant opportunity to equalise when the chance came their way.

“It’s difficult when you concede a goal in the first minute against West Brom, who are at home, with quality players,” he said.

“It’s not easy but we pushed really hard, especially in the second half, we had chances to score and make it 1-1, with Kion and with Ramsey.

“If you don’t score, it’s normal that at the end they get the second one, because we were pushing to get the second one.

“Opponents, when they get those chances they are scoring and we are not scoring. This is the difference. We have the chances, but we are not scoring.”

January signings Mikey Johnston and Andreas Weimann scored in either half as West Brom beat Cardiff 2-0 for a fifth straight Championship home win.

Johnston struck inside the first minute when he turned home Tom Fellows’ delivery from the right. In the 80th minute, Weimann scored his second goal in Albion colours when he rounded off a smart move involving his captain Jed Wallace.

It took West Brom all of 30 seconds to open the scoring. Darnell Furlong clipped the ball down the wing for Fellows and he was afforded the space to run at Jamilu Collins before pulling the ball back into the path of the onrushing Johnston who, on his full debut for the hosts, steered tidily beyond visiting goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.

The Hawthorns rose in the 12th minute to pay tribute with applause to stricken forward Daryl Dike. The United States international ruptured his Achilles in the 2-2 draw at Ipswich on Saturday and he is due for surgery and an extended period on the sidelines. Dike’s team-mates had worn T-shirts with his name and number on their backs while they were warming up before kick-off.

Despite the early setback, Cardiff were by no means deterred. Josh Wilson-Esbrand hit an admittedly hopeful shot tamely into Alex Palmer’s arms, before Nat Phillips caused problems from a David Turnbull free-kick and sparked panic before Albion hurried a clearance.

The hosts had an opening to double their advantage 25 minutes in, when the ball was worked down the left and Okay Yokuslu turned the ball into the path of midfield partner Alex Mowatt, but he could not keep his curling attempt beneath the crossbar.

While the score remained at one, Cardiff were always encouraged, yet there was little to report by way of second-half action until Kion Etete passed up a glaring opportunity to level for the visitors.

Wilson-Esbrand sent a deep cross to the back post, where the ball was cushioned down by Aaron Ramsey for Etete. From inside the six-yard box, he could only lift the ball over the bar.

While those Cardiff substitutes did not combine successfully, West Brom’s did. With 10 minutes remaining, Albion broke through Nathaniel Chalobah who set loose winger Wallace down the right. His cross was pinpoint for Weimann, who rolled the ball home to make the points secure.

Cardiff manager Erol Bulut felt rest and recuperation was behind his side’s 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Bulut gave his squad an extended break from training last week and their extra energy proved vital in holding off a late Watford onslaught.

Josh Bowler’s superb 43rd-minute strike gave Cardiff a first win since New Year’s Day and moved them to within five points of the Championship play-off places.

Bulut said: “After a few weeks of not winning points we were disappointed, so the three days off that we gave the players refreshed our team.

“Everybody came back with a clear mind and an analysis about themselves and about what they need to do to play much better.

“I think the whole team did really good work today. When you do your job well as a team, it makes it easier.”

Bulut also credited the club’s greater strength in depth following the January transfer market.

The Welsh club brought in six players in the final two days of the transfer window, with David Turnbull and Josh Wilson-Esbrand coming on substitutes to see out the victory.

“In the past I also spoke about only having 16 players, but now at least we can make changes,” Burut said.

“Before, when we had a few injuries, we were fighting in matches, but sometimes even fighting in matches was not enough, not everything. Now it looks much better.

“We worked with the new players, but they still need to know our playing style better. In the coming days and weeks, the qualities of the players will show up much, much better. They will help us a lot in the next 17 games.”

Watford, who sit a point above Cardiff, have not won a league match at Vicarage Road since November 28 and have not scored a goal from open play in their past four games.

Manager Valerien Ismael said: “There’s a big frustration tonight. I have the feeling that over 90 minutes, we should win the game. Yes, our opponents were disciplined, but they had one shot on target and scored the goal.

“It’s painful to lose at home again because we want to give something to our fans. This is a setback for us because we need to use the home games to be strong. So today for me is a tough one to take.

“We said to the players at half-time. ‘You need to step up and believe in yourselves because I believe in you and we believe in you’.

“After the substitutions it was much better. We dominated the ball and we created chances, but in the final third it’s more about desire.

“We need to be nasty in the opponents’ box to get in front of defenders, to make sure you are always there.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed Cardiff manager on this day in 2014.

The former Manchester United striker had been Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman’s first choice candidate, despite his relatively limited managerial experience with Norwegian club Molde.

He replaced the sacked Malky Mackay, who was was dismissed six days earlier after a series of disputes with club owner Vincent Tan.

Solskjaer, then aged 40, denied he had reservations about working with Tan, or that his former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had advised him to turn down the job.

“I have had good contact with the gaffer (Ferguson),” he said. “He has wished me all the best and given me some good advice as he always does.

“When you worked for him you could ask him for advice and I had a good conversation with him.

“It is absolute nonsense (that he told me to turn down Cardiff). I go into this with my eyes open and I want the fans to be proud of us when we go on the pitch.”

Solskjaer took over a Cardiff side sitting a single point above the Premier League drop zone.

The Bluebirds suffered relegation at the end of the season after finishing bottom of the table following just just three wins from 18 top-flight fixtures under the Norwegian.

Solskjaer was sacked in September 2014 – less than nine months after his appointment – with the club 17th in the Championship.

Rob Page believes Wales have a “great opportunity” to reach Euro 2024 after being handed two possible home ties in the qualification play-offs.

Wales will welcome Finland to the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, March 21 following Thursday’s draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Victory in that single-leg semi-final would see the Dragons take on either Poland or Estonia at the same venue five days later, with a spot at next summer’s tournament in Germany up for grabs.

Manager Page was relieved to avoid a rematch with Ukraine, who his side beat in a play-off to qualify for last year’s World Cup, and insists Wales fear no-one in Cardiff.

“We tried to forecast the draw beforehand and we weren’t too far away,” said Page, whose team could also have been paired with Iceland at the last-four stage.

“What’s important to us is that home draw in the final – we’ve got to get the job done (against Finland) first and foremost, of course we have.

“We were probably wanting to avoid Ukraine as well so I think it’s gone to plan for us.

“I don’t think any team in that group (Ukraine, Finland and Iceland) would have been wanting to play us. I was more nervous for the draw for the home tie for the final.

“The form we’re in at the minute and with the ‘Red Wall’ at home, we’ll take anyone on in Cardiff.

“It’s a great opportunity for us: we’re two wins at home away from another qualification to a major tournament. We’re hoping now for two big efforts.”

Wales enter the play-offs unbeaten in six matches, a run which includes a 2-1 victory over Croatia and a 1-1 draw with Turkey – the two teams who finished above them in Group D.

Finland sit 62nd in the FIFA rankings and are aiming to qualify for the European Championship finals for only the second time following their debut at Euro 2020.

They were third in Northern Ireland’s qualifying group – four points behind both Denmark and Slovenia – after winning six of their 10 fixtures.

“Of course they’re a threat, we’ve got to respect that,” Page said of Finland.

“They’re a good team, they’re here for a reason.

“But if we meet the standards we set against Croatia and Turkey, I’m confident the result will take care of itself.”

Influential midfielder Aaron Ramsey missed the final three matches of qualifying due to a knee injury sustained in September.

Page has already been in contact with the former Arsenal and Juventus player, who rejoined boyhood club Cardiff in the summer, and expects him to “do everything in his power” to be ready for the play-offs.

“To have someone of Aaron’s quality to join the squad again is going to be a definite bonus for us, absolutely,” said Page.

“There’s a lot of time from now until March to get himself in the right place and he’s done a bit of work with us on camp last week.

“We’ve just had a couple of (text) messages together and he said about the draw, straight away he’s on it and he’s looking forward to it.

“He will do everything in his power now to make sure he’s part of that squad in March.”

Wales are seeking to secure a third successive appearance at the European Championship finals.

They are also attempting to reach a fourth major tournament out of the last five after last year ending their 64-year wait to play at the World Cup.

Wales came through the play-offs to book a spot at Qatar 2022, defeating Austria and Ukraine in Cardiff, and Page feels that experience could prove invaluable.

“That will be really important for us,” he said.

“A large portion of the group had the experience, so we’ve already exposed them to those types of games and environments. It won’t be alien to them.”

Wales manager Rob Page has promised to “ignore the noise” amid reports that his job could be in jeopardy.

It was reported on Saturday morning – little more than 24 hours before Wales’ vital Euro 2024 qualifier against Croatia in Cardiff – that Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney had wanted former Sunderland and Ipswich manager and TV pundit Roy Keane to replace Page following June defeats to Armenia and Turkey.

Page signed a four-year deal in September 2022, but Mooney confirmed this week that the manager’s position would be reviewed next month if Wales did not qualify for Euro 2024 automatically.

Wales are currently fourth in Group D and need to win their final three games against Croatia, Armenia and Turkey to realistically secure a top-two place and avoid the play-offs in March.

Page responded to the speculation over his future at his pre-match press conference for the Croatia game, saying: “We’ve got to ignore all the noise. It is noise and that’s it, so we try to protect the players as much as we can.

“I have not spoken to the chief executive at all, so I could not tell you whether it is true or not (that he is to be replaced).

“All I have to focus on is, before the World Cup I signed a four-year deal and the long-term plan for me is to start introducing young players into the group.

“We are in a transition period and we have said this time and time again. We have lost big players like Joe Allen and Gareth Bale. Not just for what they bring us on the pitch, but also the value they add in the changing room.

“We’ve seen the talent we’ve got coming through. We’re developing these young players and it’s going to take time.

“I get the frustration. We want to win games of football but there’s got to be a bit of perspective. I’m doing what’s best for the FAW, not myself. By introducing these young players, it is better for Wales in the future.”

Three members of Page’s coaching staff – Alan Knill, Ian Mitchell and Tony Roberts – took the unusual step of attending the press conference at the back of the room in an apparent show of unity.

“It’s a great gesture from the staff, not something I was ready for but I really appreciate it,” said a visibly-emotional Page.

“We are really close and everyone is pushing in the right direction. I wish the supporters and you guys (the media) could see what we’ve got in that changing room. It’s incredible. The staff here means a lot.

“We’re in an industry where everyone wants to win games of football. I feel the frustration as well but the bigger picture is we have a plan to introduce younger players for the future.

“I can’t worry about the business side of it, cost-cutting and all that. I’ve got a job to do as a football coach to get them in the right place, physically and mentally, to win games of football.”

Mooney told BBC Wales on Wednesday that a “serious review” would take place on Page’s position after the Armenia and Turkey games next month when “everything will be settled”.

Wales captain Ben Davies was critical of Mooney’s comments, saying: “It’s not helpful. We don’t want noise coming from within the organisation. We hope that everybody is on the same page.

“It is disappointing to hear, but as far we are concerned it’s not our focus. Our focus is the game against Croatia.”

Asked specifically about Page, Davies said: “We’re very supportive of the manager. It’s professional every day and everyone wants to come on camp.

“Having a manager always behind you and giving you support breeds loyalty and he deserves our support now.

“We’re a tight-knit group and I think that part of the reason we’ve had the success we’ve had over the years is because we all stick together.”

Wales defender Chris Mepham is in contention to start against Croatia, despite being out for a month with a hamstring injury.

Warren Gatland said Wales’ record defeat to South Africa in Cardiff had made his World Cup selection task easier.

Gatland names his 33-man World Cup squad on Monday on the back of a chastening 52-16 thumping to the Springboks.

After two warm-up games against England, in which Wales won once and lost once and generally saw the reputation of their young team enhanced, Gatland’s side were dismantled by opponents boasting 659 Test caps to their 235.

South Africa’s victory – the first time Wales have conceded 50 points under Gatland – comfortably eclipsed their previous biggest win in Cardiff – a 34-12 in 2007.

Asked if the game had answered a lot of questions on his World Cup selection before next month’s tournament in France, head coach Gatland said: “I think so. We’ll go back to the hotel, sit down as coaches and hopefully finalise it.

“If we need to have more discussion hopefully we can do that on Sunday. Possibly some of those questions that we’ve got would have made it a little bit easier for our discussions.

“It was disappointing. I thought we were dominated physically on both sides of the ball.

“We’d spoken to the players about the physicality they’d bring and playing against the world champions. They’d just come out of a Rugby Championship.

“The only positive I can take is hopefully there’s a lot of learning that some of those players will have got from it.”

Experienced trio Alex Cuthbert Dan Biggar and Liam Williams all dropped out of the original team with minor injuries.

Wales have more pressing concerns on the injury front with hookers Dewi Lake and Ryan Elias, second row forward Dafydd Jenkins and back-rower Taine Plumtree all picking up knocks during the August matches.

Gatland also has to make calls on number eight Taulupe Faletau and outside-half Gareth Anscombe, who did not feature in the three games.

On Faletau and Anscombe, Gatland said: “I think they are in contention because of their experience.

“If they were a young player it would be very, very difficult to select them, but given their vast amount of experience they will definitely be part of those discussions.

“Part of the thing we wanted to do was everyone take part in training this week to build confidence.

“When you have a defeat like that, it’s about how do you look at the positives when you are reviewing it as a group.

“There’s some easy fixes in terms of probably four or five of those tries are easy enough to stop and then all of a sudden there’s a different complexion on the game.”

Gatland was critical of the 34th-minute yellow card given to Rio Dyer when Wales trailed 12-9.

Dyer batted a loose ball away from Canan Moodie as he closed in on a try, but replays appeared to show that it had hit the hand of the Springboks wing first. A penalty try was awarded and South Africa scored 12 points with the wing off the field.

“I thought Rio Dyer was really unlucky to have a yellow card and a penalty try because the angles we’ve looked at we are 100 per cent certain it’s touched the green player,” said Gatland.

“For me that’s a pretty tough call and we’ve conceded straight away from the kick-off. It was an important moment in terms of the way the game went.”

South Africa find themselves in arguably the toughest World Cup pool with Ireland, Scotland and Tonga for company.

The Springboks start the defence of the trophy they won in Japan four years ago against Scotland in Marseille on September 10.

“We have to get better in France,” said South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber after his side’s eight-try show in Cardiff.

“We are on the side of the draw that is knock-out from game one. Just to get out of pool we have to be on form.”

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth revealed that he told Sinclair Armstrong he would score his first goal for the club before the young Irish striker came up trumps in a 2-1 win at Cardiff.

The 20-year-old Armstrong opened his Rangers account before charging clear to set up Kenneth Paal’s second-half clincher, with Ike Ugbo’s open-goal finish nothing more than a consolation for Cardiff.

“I told Sinclair in the hotel this morning that he was going to score his first goal and the beaming smile on his face gave me confidence, never mind him,” said Ainsworth.

“He’s a man of few words. He just said: ‘Cheers gaffer’. He told me after the game: ‘You were right gaffer’.

“He’s a work in progress but I believe we’ve got a real diamond. He’s young and come out of a lower level in Ireland.

“He’s not had enough games in the Championship yet, but he will get there and he’s like a 100 metres sprinter.

“He’s the quickest player I’ve ever worked with and is going to cause serious problems for defences.”

Ainsworth’s position has come under scrutiny after failing to stop QPR’s slide following his move from Wycombe in February.

QPR narrowly avoided relegation from the Sky Bet Championship last season and lost 4-0 at Watford on the opening day of this campaign after conceding four first-half goals.

“I didn’t give them the best chance of being successful (at Watford) and it’s been a big week – and a big day – for me,” said Ainsworth.

“I thought ‘how do I get the best out of the players I’ve got?’ rather than thinking what’s got me success over the last 10 years.

“This is new now, it’s not what I’ve had, and we had to change.

“There is going to be some pain before we get better, but I can see the start now and I want to build.”

There was plenty of excitement around Cardiff with Aaron Ramsey, having returned to the club in the summer, making his first appearance at home since 2011.

But new Cardiff manager Erol Bulut said: “Many players were nervous – I don’t understand why. Maybe it is the first game in front of our fans. But that is not a reason to be nervous.

“We created enough to at least score a second goal and get a point. But two individual mistakes in the game meant the opponents led 2-0 and it’s not easy to come back to draw from there.

“We have to keep working on our mistakes. Also some players have to be much more active.

“From some players, it’s not enough. They have to give a better performance.

“Many players still have in their heads the last two years, how the Championship was for them.

“I try to push it out of them, to believe in themselves and focus on our target.”

QPR spoiled Aaron Ramsey’s Cardiff homecoming with a 2-1 success in the Sky Bet Championship.

Sinclair Armstrong – with his first QPR goal – and Kenneth Paal were on target to puncture Cardiff’s early-season optimism generated by the return of Wales captain Ramsey.

Ike Ugbo gave Cardiff hope 12 minutes from time with his second goal in as many league games, but the Bluebirds were left to rue efforts from Ramsey and Mark McGuinness coming back off the crossbar.

Ramsey’s last appearance on this ground in Cardiff colours came in February 2011, when on loan from Arsenal as he recovered from serious injury.

There was huge excitement as Ramsey led out a Cardiff side managed at home in the league for the first time by Erol Bulut, the former Fenerbahce head coach.

But the day belonged to Armstrong, a 20-year-old Irish striker who not only opened his QPR account in the first half but unselfishly set up Paal after 65 minutes.

QPR slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Watford on the opening weekend and boss Gareth Ainsworth had acted quickly to bolster his defence.

Steve Cook arrived from Nottingham Forest on Wednesday and the veteran centre-half went straight into the middle of a three-man defence.

QPR started brightly but Cardiff carried a goal threat when getting into forward positions.

Cardiff’s best chance of the first period came after 19 minutes when McGuinness headed goalwards for the swivelling Ugbo to send his shot wide.

QPR were playing the more cohesive football and Cook met Paal’s free-kick at the far post to force a smart save from Jak Alnwick.

Ilias Chair was wayward before Paul Smyth picked Callum O’Dowda’s pocket and found the sliding Armstrong, who made no mistake from a few yards.

Cardiff went close to an equaliser in first-half stoppage-time but Asmir Begovic got down well to turn Ryan Wintle’s 20-yard effort around a post.

There was more purpose about Cardiff straight after the restart as Ramsey played in O’Dowda and Morgan Fox made a fine stretching clearance.

Callum Robinson replaced the injured Ebou Adams but Cardiff struggled to make headway against resolute opponents.

QPR were lucky to survive when Ramsey found space on the edge of the penalty area and his effort clattered against the crossbar.

Cardiff kept the move alive and Begovic was quick off his line to smother Karlan Grant’s attempt.

QPR made the most of their good fortune within moments after Ramsey gave away possession and Armstrong, having evaded Dimitrios Goutas, raced down the right.

Armstrong did not panic as he scanned for support and his inviting ball was dispatched by Paal.

Cardiff set up a grandstand finish as Ramsey delivered a delightful pass to O’Dowda at the far post.

O’Dowda did superbly to keep the ball in play and lift it over Begovic and Ugbo tapped home.

Cardiff struck the crossbar again through McGuinness but 10 minutes of stoppage time eventually ran out on the Bluebirds.

Cardiff manager Erol Bulut felt his team should have put away League Two Colchester long before requiring a penalty shoot-out to advance to the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Bulut presided over his first home match as Bluebirds manager since taking over earlier this summer but saw his side squander a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 before advancing 3-0 on penalties.

“We could have scored four or five with the chances we created but we made individual mistakes,” said Bulut.

“The youngsters did quite well and generally I was satisfied with the way we kept the ball. But we have to get better, we have to continue to work.”

A smart finish by Welsh international Rubin Colwill put the home side ahead in the 19th minute and it was 2-0 10 minutes before the break when Kion Etete pounced to fire home a loose ball.

But lethargic defensive lapses allowed the visitors to haul themselves level before half-time, as two close-range tap-ins in the 40th and 44th minutes by forwards John Akinde and Joe Taylor changed the complexion.

Bulut offered qualified praise of Colwill, who saw his penalty saved after opening the scoring.

“Rubin is a good young player who has to learn more things,” he said. “I hope he continues like this and he will then get his chance to prove himself.

“I see Rubin playing as a number 10 mostly but sometimes he forgets his defensive duties.

“He is now keeping his position much better instead of running everywhere.”

No representatives from Colchester were available to speak after the game.

Championship Cardiff needed a penalty shoot-out to get past League Two Colchester in the Carabao Cup first round.

Bluebirds goalkeeper Jak Alnwick saved Colchester’s first three attempts from 12 yards, thwarting Jayden Fevrier, Junior Tchamadeu and Tom Hopper after a 2-2 draw in 90 minutes.

It meant successful penalties from Cardiff’s Mahlon Romeo, Sheyi Ojo and Ike Ugbo were enough after their side’s first effort from Rubin Colwill had been saved.

A smart finish by Welsh international Colwill put the home side ahead in the 19th minute.

It was 2-0 10 minutes before the break when Colchester goalkeeper Owen Goodman spilled a shot by Cardiff winger Ollie Tanner, and Kion Etete pounced to fire home the loose ball.

But lethargic defensive lapses allowed the visitors to haul themselves level before half-time, as two close-range tap-ins in the 40th and 44th minutes by forwards John Akinde and Joe Taylor changed the complexion.

Expectations Cardiff would reassert themselves after the break were misplaced and the League Two side more than contributed to an evenly matched affair.

Colchester substitute Samson Tovide was shown a red card in the 89th minute for a boot to the head of Bluebirds left-back Jamilu Collins but his side held out for the seven minutes of added time.

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey has completed a return to his boyhood club Cardiff on a two-year contract.

Ramsey made 22 appearances for the Bluebirds as a teenager and six more on loan from Arsenal in 2011 and remains their youngest ever player.

Having played for them in the 2008 FA Cup final, he went on to win the competition three times with the Gunners and added a Serie A title and a Coppa Italia with Juventus and a Scottish Cup on loan at Rangers before joining Nice.

He has played in Europa League finals with Arsenal, for whom he made over 350 appearances, and Rangers and for Wales at two European Championships and a World Cup.

Ramsey told Cardiff’s website: “It feels unbelievable to finally be back here. I always thought one day I’d come back, and now it’s the perfect time to do that.

“To be back with my family and around familiar faces is just brilliant, so I’m delighted to be back here now. I’ve missed that a lot in the last year or so, so it was important for me to be back around them.

“Obviously I’m a Cardiff City fan and watching them over the years since I’ve been away, we’ve had some low points but some big highs as well, being in the Premier League and representing Cardiff on the big stage. That’s a target of mine – to try and help my team-mates and this club to get back to the top.

“I owe so much to Cardiff, to the fans, to everybody who has been at the club when I was here as a young boy coming through. For me now to come full circle, to be part of this team now, and hopefully achieve the goals we want, there’s no better feeling than that.”

Ramsey’s seven-year-old son Sonny has also joined Cardiff’s academy, signing his contract alongside his father.

Cardiff have signed Greece defender Dimitrios Goutas on a two-year contract.

The 29-year-old most recently played for Sivasspor, making 84 appearances for the Turkish club and scoring five goals.

He joins the Sky Bet Championship side as a free agent ahead of the 2023-24 season and cannot wait to get going.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Goutas told Cardiff City TV. “From the first day I came here, I’ve felt warmth from everybody. I’m happy to join the team and I will give my best to achieve our goals.

“I can’t wait to train with the team and help with my experience. I will always give 100 per cent and try to help the young players – that’s why I’m here.”

Bluebirds boss Erol Bulut said: “He can organise from the back and he is a good size for the Championship. He also has good speed, so I think he will be a very useful player for our style.

“He is one of those people who is really dangerous in the air and can score goals from set-pieces, which will be very good for us.”

Huddersfield took a huge step towards Sky Bet Championship safety with a 2-1 win at Cardiff.

Substitute Joseph Hungbo struck a powerful opener and Jack Simpson’s own goal secured Huddersfield a three-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone.

Cardiff replied through Isaak Davies’ first goal of the season seven minutes from time and the Terriers held on to the three points when Lee Nicholls saved superbly from Rubin Colwill.

A draw on the final day at home to 22nd-placed Reading will be enough to keep Huddersfield up, although Neil Warnock’s side could guarantee their Championship status by avoiding defeat to promoted Sheffield United on Thursday.

Warnock was back on familiar ground having won a record eighth promotion at Cardiff in 2018 during a three-year stay in south Wales.

The 74-year-old came out of retirement in February with Huddersfield in 23rd place and just one point off the bottom of the table.

Cardiff could relax after their Championship status was confirmed on Saturday by Reading’s failure to beat Wigan.

Sabri Lamouchi has gradually improved the Bluebirds’ fortunes since his January appointment, with Sory Kaba largely responsible for their late-season flourish.

Kaba was rested to the bench after seven goals in 10 games, but the Guinean was introduced as early as the 13th minute in the Welsh capital as Kion Etete limped off.

It was not a welcome sight for the visitors, who had started well in the Cardiff drizzle.

Danny Ward, who played under Warnock during his three years at Cardiff, almost marked his return with a second-minute shot that Jak Alnwick pushed out at his near post.

Huddersfield attacks were also thwarted by brave blocks from Cedric Kipre and Mahlon Romeo as Cardiff struggled to fashion chances.

Romaine Sawyers blazed over from the edge of the box before the Terriers were almost undone after 39 minutes by a one-two between Jaden Philogene and Kaba.

Philogene raced in on advancing Huddersfield goalkeeper Lee Nicholls but lifted the ball into the side-netting.

Openings were just as scarce after the interval until Sawyers lost possession under pressure after 61 minutes.

Hungbo, on loan from Watford, pounced on the loose ball and cut inside Kipre to fire a vicious shot past Alnwick.

Huddersfield doubled their advantage eight minutes later as Jack Rudoni’s free-kick flicked off the head of Ryan Wintle to reach the far post.

Matty Pearson had timed his run perfectly but his header looked as if it was travelling wide before striking the foot of Simpson and giving Alnwick no chance.

The woodwork twice denied Huddersfield another goal as Josh Koroma hit a post before Jaheim Headley planted the rebound against the crossbar from just a few feet out.

Davies gave Cardiff hope with a clever back-heel from Romeo’s cross, but Huddersfield were not to be denied.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.