Leeds return with a draw at Cardiff

Leeds United dramatically avoided another FA Cup third-round shock at Cardiff City as Sonny Perkins equalized in added time.

Cardiff, 20th in the Championship and the league’s lowest scorers, struck twice in seven first-half minutes with goals from Jaden Filogen and Shei Ojo.

Booed at half-time, Leeds responded well and substitute Rodrigo headed in.

Cardiff’s Joel Bagan was sent off for handball but Rodrigo had the penalty saved by Jack Alnwick.

Then, just as the home side looked set for another famous victory over Leeds – 21 years later at the same stage over the then-Premier League leaders – Perkins scored from close range to break Cardiff’s late resistance.

Boreham Wood or Accrington Stanley await at Cardiff or Leeds Fourth round After a brutal end to the game for the Bluebirds, who looked set for a first win in eight games, that would provide relief from their league struggles.

For Leeds, Perkins’ late leveler is a lifeline for manager Jesse Marsh, whose side have now gone six games without a win in all competitions. The defeat here increased the pressure on the Americans.

The fixture evoked memories of third-tier Cardiff’s 2002 FA Cup victory over an expensively assembled Leeds side who were top of the Premier League at the time.

Since that historic result, Cardiff have won 14 of their last 22 away games but, given their struggles in the Championship this season, confidence was in short supply in the Welsh capital.

Leeds were on their own winless run – five games in all competitions – and a concern for Marsh’s men was their poor recent FA Cup record, having lost at the third round stage in each of the past five seasons, including defeat. Newport County and Crawley Town.

Marsh said he had spoken to chief executive Angus Kinnear about the matter, and Leeds fans clearly envisioned a cup run, selling out their 6,000 allotment and creating a day that would drown out the home crowd for a long time.

The Leeds players looked equally motivated as they controlled the opening exchanges, Darko Gabi impressing in midfield with an early shot narrowly wide and a weaving run ending in a well-saved effort by Jack Simpson.

But despite the visitors’ early control, it was Cardiff who took the lead against the run of play. Tom Tsang dismissed Mark Harris with a good through-ball and after his shot was saved by Joel Robles, Harris beat Isaac Davies. His shot was also blocked but the ball fell to Philogene, who fired from close range.

After scoring just 20 goals in 26 league games this season, the Championship’s lowest scorers scored two goals in seven minutes against their Premier League opponents.

The second was an altogether classier affair, with Andy Rinomhota’s delightful lofted pass glancing off the head of Leeds centre-back Diego Llorente before reaching Ojo, who chested the ball down before finishing smartly on the turn.

Leeds were off at half-time and their fans’ fury had the desired effect after the restart as their team continued to put Cardiff under pressure.

First, Pascal Strujjic headed inches wide in front of top scorer Rodrigo, recently a substitute, to meet Sam Greenwood’s cross and head into the net despite Alnwick’s touch.

Rodrigo hit another shot over before playing a key role in one of the game’s defining moments.

The penalty was as cheeky as it got – Bagan diving like a goalkeeper to push Junior Firpo’s goalbound shot away with his arm – but Rodrigo’s poor spot-kick was saved by Alnwick.

The Cardiff fans celebrated the save with renewed belief that their side were about to claim another FA Cup scalp but it was a raucous Leeds traveling side who had the last laugh as Perkins headed Firpo’s flick into the net to spark wild celebrations behind the goal. Replay.



Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 21Alnwick
  • 12sangBooked in 9 minutes
  • 16Nelson
  • 26Simpson
  • 3the gardenBooked in 80 minutes
  • 19Sawyerssubstituted forWintlein 78′minuteBooked in 83 minutes
  • 29M Harrissubstituted forNgin 86′minute
  • 35renown
  • 10Ojosubstituted forsalivationsin 86′minute
  • 25phylogenysubstituted forO’Dowdain 77′minute
  • 39Davissubstituted forTannerin 63′minute


  • 1Allsop
  • 6Wintle
  • 8salivations
  • 11O’Dowda
  • 14Tanner
  • 37Nkounkou
  • 38Ng
  • 42Wiggle
  • 44Benjamin


Formation 4-4-2

  • 22Robles
  • 25Christensensubstituted forDramehin 59′minute
  • 14Llorente
  • 21StruijkBooked in 28 minutes
  • 3come back
  • 7Aaronsonsubstituted forPerkinsin 86′minute
  • 42GreenwoodBooked in 70 minutes
  • 18Gabbysubstituted forWobberin 60′minuteBooked in 90 minutes
  • 10Summervillesubstituted forRodrigoin 59′minute
  • 30Gelhartsubstituted forFernandezin 73′minute
  • 29GnontoBooked in 27 minutes


  • 2Ailing
  • 8stopped
  • 11Harrison
  • 13Class
  • 16Perkins
  • 19Rodrigo
  • 37Drameh
  • 39Wobber
  • 49Fernandez

Jarred Gillett


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