Determined Bluebirds snatch a deserved late equaliser
Sol Bamba’s injury-time goal salvaged a draw for Cardiff City as they dramatically denied Sheffield Wednesday a third successive win in the Championship.
The visitors dominated possession and deservedly led at the break thanks to Gary Hooper’s header.
A more even second half produced chances at both ends and Bamba struck from close range deep into added time.
Cardiff are level on points with league leaders Leeds, but drop to third.
The Bluebirds had made an electric start to the campaign by winning their opening five Championship fixtures, though that momentum was tempered by a draw at Fulham and a 3-0 defeat at Preston.
The drubbing at Deepdale cost Warnock’s team their place at the top of the table and, by contrast, they faced a Sheffield Wednesday side on the rise, climbing up to sixth spot having been unbeaten in the league since the opening day of the season.
Carlos Carvalhal’s men certainly seemed to be the ones in form, dominating possession immediately and ensuring the game was played largely in Cardiff’s half and at a slower tempo which negated the hosts’ favoured counter-attacking style.
Scoring opportunities were initially scarce but the visitors’ monopoly of the ball eventually led to the opening goal, as Adam Reach’s fine cross was headed in by Hooper to score for the fourth game in succession.
Cardiff seemed to benefit from a signature fiery Warnock team talk at half-time because, after the interval, there was more urgency to their play as Nathaniel Mendez-Laing saw a well-struck shot deflected over and Junior Hoilett had a header saved.
The hosts continued to pour forward in a desperate search for the equaliser and, with almost the final kick of the game five minutes into injury time, Bamba converted Mendez-Laing’s low cross, after substitute Tomlin had forced an excellent save from Westwood; to spark wild celebrations among the home fans.
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock:
“It’s like winning a game. I’ve been on the other end and you’re just distraught, but it’s great from our point of view.
“I thought we deserved it in the second half, we had 12 efforts to their two. We were disappointing in the first half, we carried on where we left off at Preston, we were in the back-foot.
“Wednesday looked like they sat back after getting the goal, but if they’d had a go at us we were vulnerable, so I was delighted to get to half-time at 1-0.
“They’ll have the measure of most sides between the boxes, but they didn’t test Neil Etheridge.”
Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal:
“Before the game most of the teams in the Championship will say a draw in Cardiff is good and not a bad result.
“But we are disappointed because we lose two points, we scored one goal and I thought we could achieve a second one.
“We had the best opportunity to kill it with Fletcher and at that moment we must finish the game.”
Feeney 6 (for Hoilett 71 mins)
Tomlin 6.5 (for Bryson 82 mins)
Ward 6 (for Zohore 82 mins)