Cardiff 1 – 0 Birmingham

Jaden Philogene’s first-half goal was enough to earn Cardiff a 1-0 win over Birmingham on Saturday lunchtime.

The 20-year-old Aston Villa loanee struck the winner after just 17 minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium, connecting with a square ball from Callum O’Dowda to score his first goal for the club from close range.

Cardiff were the better side before the break and should have put the game beyond doubt, but after a penalty either side in the second half John Eustace’s side could not muster enough in the final third to equalise.

Jaden Philogene scored the winner for Cardiff

The Bluebirds move into third place in the embryonic Championship table ahead of the rest of Saturday’s action, with Birmingham two points behind seventh.

How Cardiff thrived in sunny South Wales

With both sides knocked out of the Carabao Cup first round in midweek, they were keen to get back to winning ways in the league – and Cardiff set out to do so immediately.

Ryan Wintle sent a skidding low shot beyond the left post and John Ruddy denied both Romaine Sawyers and Max Watters with a wonderful double save, before Philogene hit the Bluebirds in front after grabbing a teasing ball through the O’Dowda surface.

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Jaden Philogene puts Cardiff ahead against Birmingham with a touch.

The hosts continued to dominate from the wide areas and certainly should have added some new goals before the break. Watters drove on goal and drew a save from Ruddy when it seemed easier to send the ball to him, while Dion Sanderson beat him on a cross from O’Dowda and cleared.

Within 10 minutes of the second half, Ruddy had made another clever save to deny O’Dowda, with Birmingham’s appeals for a penalty overturned by referee Darren Bond when Scott Hogan fell into the box under pressure by Cedric Kipre.

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Kion Etete misses a fantastic opportunity with a header at the far post to extend Cardiff’s lead against Birmingham.

Nonetheless, the Blues’ influence grew as the game progressed, but they should have been two behind when new signing Kion Etete somehow planted a wide header from six yards out, after Mark Harris struggled down the left to find space for a cross.

Cardiff later had calls for a kick from him turned down when the snitch O’Dowda was knocked down at the edge of the 18-yard box. In the end, however, a lone goal settled the game.

Man of the Match – Callum O’Dowda

Cardiff 1 - 0 Birmingham

And after?

Birmingham travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford at 7.45pm on Tuesday August 16, while Cardiff resume action the following night at 8pm when they face West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Sky Sports

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