Bluebirds secure play-off spot

Cardiff secured their place in the Championship play-offs for the third year running with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Last Updated: 28/04/12 at 14:48

Cowie: Hit the winner for City

Cowie: Hit the winner for City

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The Bluebirds had to fight back from a goal down following Wilfried Zaha's early opener but two stunning goals from Peter Whittingham and Don Cowie got the job done.

The result means Malky Mackay's side will face West Ham in a two-legged play-off semi-final as they look to return to the top flight after a 50-year absence.

City, who may have had an eye on events at Vicarage Road, where seventh-placed Middlesbrough were in action against Watford, were quick out of the blocks and Liam Lawrence's early long-range drive was spilled by Lewis Price but he recovered in time to deny Joe Mason on the follow-up.

With 13 minutes gone Zaha silenced the sizeable away following with a goal right out of the top drawer. Picking up the ball in his own half, the 19-year-old laid it off for Darren Ambrose before darting upfield to receive a beautiful return pass which he coolly slotted past David Marshall.

With the Eagles buoyant, a clearly nervy Cardiff outfit struggled to find the form which had enabled them to remain unbeaten in the previous nine matches.

Mason's glancing header from Cowie's cross was easily dealt with by Price and the hosts looked relatively comfortable, working hard off the ball to contain their visitors while demonstrating an attacking threat in possession.

Cardiff's best chance of the half came five minutes before the break when Whittingham's quickly-taken free-kick caught Palace by surprise, allowing Mark Hudson to direct a header on goal against his former club but Price gathered at the second attempt.

With the Bluebirds needing victory to guarantee their place in the top six, they looked a different proposition in the second half. Kenny Miller fired off a shot within a minute of the restart to underline their intent, before the Scottish striker was booked for a dangerous tackle on Matthew Parsons.

When Parsons retorted with a foul of his own on Lawrence, earning himself a booking, Whittingham had the chance to deliver in a free-kick from a tight angle but went one better, finding the bottom corner to level the scores with his 13th goal of the season in the 53rd minute.

Moments later Miller flicked a header narrowly wide as Cardiff stepped up the pressure.

The shift in the balance of power was confirmed when Cowie, back in the side following a calf injury, struck a spectacular volley into the bottom corner after Gunnarson's throw had been flicked into the heart of the penalty area.

Palace were suddenly all at sea, lacking the fluency which had been the hallmark of their promising first-half display and appearing much more like a side on an eight-game winless run.

They did at least have the lively Zaha, whose 20-yard drive flashed just wide before a mazy dribble was brought to an end by Ben Turner's timely intervention.

Cardiff comfortably saw out three minutes of stoppage time to keep their promotion dream alive.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Tuesday, 16 September 2014
20:00
Bolton 3-2 Rotherham Report
Reading 3-2 Millwall Report
19:45
Birmingham 0-2 Sheff Wed Report
Blackpool 0-1 Watford  
Bournemth 1-3 Leeds Report
Brentford 0-3 Norwich Report
Cardiff 0-1 M'boro Report
Charlton 1-1 Wolves Report
Huddersfld 0-0 Wigan Report
Ipswich 2-0 Brighton Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Norwich 7 10 16
2 Watford 7 7 15
3 N Forest 6 8 14
4 Wolves 7 4 14
5 Charlton 7 3 13
6 Reading 7 1 13
7 Sheff Wed 7 3 12
8 M'boro 7 2 12
9 Ipswich 7 3 11
10 Brentford 7 0 11
11 Blackburn 6 0 10
12 Millwall 7 0 10
13 Leeds 7 -3 10
14 Derby 6 4 9
15 Bournemth 7 1 8
16 Wigan 7 1 8
17 Cardiff 7 -1 8
18 Brighton 7 -2 7
19 Rotherham 7 -4 7
20 Birmingham 7 -7 6
21 Bolton 7 -5 5
22 Huddersfld 7 -8 5
23 Blackpool 7 -7 1
24 Fulham 6 -10 1

Updated Wed, 17 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Kagawa: My heart stayed in Dortmund

Shinji Kagawa admits life at Manchester United was "particularly difficult", but the playmaker says his heart was always at Borussia Dortmund.

Championship news: Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set to leave club

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears set to leave the club following talks over his future, Sky sources understand.

Championship: Alex Tettey has signed a new two-year deal with Norwich City

Alex Tettey has signed a new two-year deal with Norwich City, with the option to extend for a further year.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property