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Cardiff boost survival hopes after coming from behind to win at Watford

19 Apr 2023 3 minute read
Cardiff City’s Sory Kaba . Photo Tim Markland PA Images

Cardiff gave their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Sky Bet Championship a big boost by coming from behind to win 3-1 at Watford.

Ismaila Sarr gave the Hornets an early lead but their slim hopes of gate-crashing the play-offs were dented by three Cardiff replies in the space of 10 first-half minutes.

Kion Etete and Cedric Kipre quickly turned the scoreline on its head before Sory Kaba posted a goal-of-the-season contender.

Watford started brightly and took advantage of some non-existent Cardiff defending to take an 11th-minute lead.

Imran Louza lofted a pass that found Keinan Davis in space on the right of the box and the static visitors could only watch as the on-loan Aston Villa striker nodded the ball across the six-yard box for Sarr to prod home his 10th goal of the season.

Suddenly, after a brief break for players fasting for Ramadan to get some fluids on board, Cardiff were almost level.

Etete headed the ball on and Hornets defender Wesley Hoedt’s attempt to nod back to goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann was seized upon by Kaba, whose lofted effort dropped on to the roof of the net.

It did not cost Cardiff, however, as Etete netted just after the half-hour mark. The summer signing from Cheltenham accepted Andy Rinomhota’s pass on the right of the box and negotiated his way past challengers before slotting across Bachmann from a tight angle.


Cardiff stunned Watford by taking the lead four minutes later. Ryan Wintle’s drive was blocked by a defender but Kipre was first to the rebound and instantly smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Bachmann from the right of the box.

Watford subsided and allowed Kaba to score an even better goal four minutes before half-time.

The forward, borrowed from Midtjylland in January, chested Perry Ng’s ball into the box up in the air before dispatching a bicycle kick for Cardiff’s third goal in a stunning 10-minute spell. It was Kaba’s seventh goal in his 13th Bluebirds appearance.

Hornets fans immediately turned on their players, chanting ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ – and it could have been worse as Mark McGuinness stabbed narrowly wide from a corner just before the break.

The second period began with Watford appealing in vain for penalties, with Cardiff goalkeeper Ryan Allsop also having to punch away from Davis.

Cardiff were no longer a threat, although substitute Connor Wickham sent a tame header straight at Bachmann straight after coming on.

Watford were hardly more clinical as substitute Ken Sema’s shot ended up as a pass to Sarr, who saw an effort of his own saved three minutes from time.

City fans celebrated the final whistle raucously, most home fans had already departed by then.

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