U23 Report: Saints 0-1 Cardiff

By SFC Media time Fri 09 Feb Saints v Cardiff
Photo by Matt Watson | Michael Obafemi
Fri 09 Feb 7PM
Premier League Cup
Southampton
0
Cardiff City
1
goal
Gyasi [76']
yellow card
Humphries [80'] Abbruzzese [90']
Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 60

A tight Premier League Cup affair was edged by visiting side Cardiff City, with a single goal, scored by Michael Gyasi, enough to secure the points.

The Bluebirds squandered a first-half penalty opportunity, with Southampton's Kingsley Latham producing a fine save from Mark Harris's effort, but the home side forwent the chance to solidify their position at the top of their group.

Radhi Jaïdi's side probed throughout the 90 minutes, chances falling in their droves to Michael Obafemi, but Saints were rather wasteful in the final third, and couldn't profit from large spells of pressure. Cardiff, conversely, playing away from home and conceding much of the play, made their scarcer chances count.

After a clumsy start, in which the visitors had a gift of a chance to take the lead inside two minutes, Saints began to settle and goalmouth action was plentifull.

Latham was the hero early on. A rather fortuitous penalty was awarded the way of the visitors, after Aaron O'Driscoll's unavoidable close range hand ball was penalised, with Harris striking hard and low from 12 yards to Latham's right.

The stopper judged the direction accurately, and the flight of the ball equally well, getting a strong glove to the spot-kick and turning it around the post. Saints survived the warning shot, much to the dismay of the away side.

All inside the first 20 minutes, Will Wood guided a 25 yard free-kick goalward, which fizzed off the turf allowing George Ratcliffe to gather, before Obafemi seized upon a hat-trick of chances.

Tyreke Johnson advanced down the left, crossed searchingly towards Obafemi who couldn't connect, and in almost identical fashion moments later, a similar move created a chance akin to the first, but the 6ft 4' frame of first-team veteran Matthew Connolly provided adequate obstruction.

Callum Slattery's craftsmanship in midfield was Saints' greatest first half threat. The 19-year-old was gliding across the pitch, always looking for a forward run, linking well with Saints' wide players.

And that productive combination produced yet another chance for Obafemi just before half time. Johnson slipped the ball through to the young striker, an incisive pass, who swivelled and put his laces through the shot. Ciaron Brown intercepted, smartly, as Jaïdi's side failed to capitalise on their dominance.

Despite conceding the opening chance of the second period - a driving run from Kadeem Hamis culminating in a free header for striker Ogo Obi - the home side were nearly in front soon after.

Nathan Tella motored down the right, squared a ball to Smallbone, who couldn't break the deadlock, before Slattery's follow up shot was sliced off target. Cardiff's Jacob Evans tested Latham on the hour mark, but again, no breakthrough.

Relative stalemate ensued, before Saints were eventually undone in the 76th minute. Substitute Gyasi provided the finish to a Danny Rowe delivery, arriving late at the back post to send the ball past a helpless Latham.

The deficit prompted a double change from Jaïdi, introducing Siph Mdlalose and Tom O'Connor, in a bid to change the waning fortunes of Saints. But neither had the time to make a significant impact, before the home side were forced accept defeat at the hands of the gleeful Bluebirds, and forgo the chance to bolster their group position.

Southampton

1
Kingsley Latham (GK)
2
Yan Valery
3
Will Wood
4
Ben Rowthorn
5
Alfie Jones (C)
6
Aaron O'Driscoll
7
Nathan Tella
replace Siph Mdlalose (78′)
8
Callum Slattery
replace Tom O'Connor (78′)
9
Michael Obafemi
10
Will Smallbone
11
Tyreke Johnson
replace Olufela Olomola (86′)
12
Richard Bakary
13
Jack Rose
14
Tom O'Connor
15
Siph Mdlalose
16
Olufela Olomola

Cardiff City

1
George Ratcliffe (GK)
2
Paul Mackay
3
Rhys Abbruzzese yellow card
4
Danny Rowe
5
Ciaron Brown (C)
6
Matthew Connolly
replace Corey Watson (69′)
7
Mark Harris
8
Jacob Evans
9
Ogo Obi
replace Michael Gyasi (57′) goal
10
Scott McLean
11
Kadeem Hamis
replace Lloyd Humphries (75′) yellow card
12
Lloyd Humphries
13
Warren Burnwood
14
Michael Gyasi
15
Corey Watson
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