On Sunday afternoon, Cardiff City’s 2023–24 Sky Bet Championship season ended with a 2-2 tie against Leeds United’s Elland Road.
Both debutants, Josh Bowler and Iké Ugbo, scored to give Cardiff City a two-goal advantage at halftime. In stoppage time of the second half, Crysencio Summerville leveled after Liam Cooper had brought a goal back for the home team.
Five summer acquisitions, including Dimitrios Goutas, Aaron Ramsey, Karlan Grant, Bowler, and Ugbo, were included in manager Erol Bulut’s starting XI.
After a tight first 15 minutes, the hosts forced the first opportunity when Wilfried Gnonto ran in from behind, but Jak Alnwick made an outstanding stop to save it from happening.
Archie Grey, a midfielder, had two attempts from the follow-up that Callum O’Dowda successfully stopped. Gnonto was discovered in space during another attack by the Whites, and he made a daring effort to shoot that went just wide of the post.
Then Gnonto, a representative of Italy, connected with Summerville, who had a chance to score first, but City center-back Mark McGuinness produced a spectacular save.
With 23 minutes remaining, City seized the lead after enduring the hosts’ push. Joe Ralls made a beautiful pass to O’Dowda on the left, who crossed the ball to Bowler in the box. The loanee gave the Bluebirds the lead with a coolly executed finish into the bottom corner.
After taking the lead, Bulut’s team played with focus and determination in defense. Summerville got space on the area’s outskirts and had a chance to score before the half, but Alnwick made a stunning stop to keep it from happening.
With 39 minutes remaining, City increased the advantage by playing with precision. Ramsey attempted to score after some excellent passing between Ryan Wintle and Bowler, but his shot was diverted into Ugbo’s path. The Bluebirds rookie was on hand to score from close range to give City a 2-0 lead at the half.
The hosts had an opportunity to lessen the deficit at the second half’s opening when Luke Ayling crossed into a dangerous area near Gnonto. McGuinness, a city defender, made an outstanding challenge to get the ball out for a corner.
Leeds United captain Cooper headed the ensuing set-piece goal for the Whites to restore parity. When Perry Ng’s ball through the defenders found Ugbo, who had reacted brilliantly, he shot narrowly over the crossbar.
Welsh international Daniel James cut in from the left as the Whites looked for a leveler, but Alnwick again produced an outstanding stop. Ayling crossed for James to tap in with 20 minutes remaining, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
The Bluebirds’ excellent defense once again denied the Whites as Gnonto snuck past Luis Sinisterra before O’Dowda made a stunning save. Summerville was in the box when the ball landed in the bottom corner, giving the hosts the equalizer.
LEEDS UNITED 2-2 CARDIFF CITY was the final score.
Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper (C), Cresswell (53′), Hjelde (46′), Grey (90+3′), Perkins, Ampadu, Summerville, Sinisterra, James (Poveda 82′), and Gnonto are the players for Leeds United. Darlow, Shackleton, Gyabi, and Bate were not substitutes.
Alnwick, Ng, Goutas, McGuinness, O’Dowda, Wintle, Ralls (C) (Adams 30′), Ramsey (Rinomhota 78′), Bowler, Ugbo (Etete 78′), and Grant (Mété 65′) are the players for Cardiff City. Robinson, Luthra, Collins, and substitutes are not deployed. Source