Sport Soccer

Thursday 14 November 2019

Royals draw blank

Reading 0 Cardiff 0 championship
play-off s/f 1st leg

Cardiff shrugged off the loss of captain Craig Bellamy to gain the upper hand in their Championship play-off semi-final with Reading after a tense goalless draw at the Madejski Stadium.

The Bluebirds will arguably be the happier of the two sides heading into next week's second leg in Wales but look set to be without Bellamy as they fight to win a place in the Premier League.

The on-loan Manchester City striker lasted just 17 minutes before going off injured, but Dave Jones' side recovered to limit the Royals in a poor game. An all-Welsh final at Wembley now looks likely after Swansea held Nottingham Forest to another stalemate on Thursday night.

Reading boss Brian McDermott -- who played for Cardiff -- saw his side fail to hit their usual tempo and must now pull off a fine performance in the second leg to keep their hopes alive.

Matt Mills came close in the opening minutes of the second half when Shane Long headed an Ian Harte corner back across goal, but the defender was unable to divert the ball on target.

Peter Whittingham sent a 25-yard drive just wide of Adam Federici's left corner as the visitors threatened to steal the win, but a disappointing encounter petered to a close.

Irish Independent

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