Sheffield Wednesday match report: Cardiff City 1 Owls 1

Jack Hunt tries to knock the ball past Cardiff forward Junior Hoilett
Jack Hunt tries to knock the ball past Cardiff forward Junior Hoilett
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A last-gasp Sol Bamba strike saw Sheffield Wednesday held to a 1-1 draw at high-flying Cardiff City today.

The Owls looked set to secure a third straight Championship victory in Carlos Carvalhal's 100th league match in charge after Gary Hooper's first half opener.

But Cardiff piled on the pressure in the closing stages and Bamba tapped in from close range after Keiren Westwood pushed away substitute Lee Tomlin's free-kick.

Cavalhal made one tactical change to his starting line-up, recalling Daniel Pudil at left-back. Ross Wallace made way, with Adam Reach moving to the left flank. It was Czech Republic international Pudil's first start since the draw at Burton Albion last month.

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Cardiff also freshened things up, handing Craig Bryson his full debut. Bryson, a transfer target for the Owls last month, replaced Loic Damour in midfield.

Wednesday made a bright start in the Welsh capital and Steven Fletcher's fierce left foot shot flew narrowly over the top.

It took the Bluebirds, who are managed by ex-Sheffield United chief Neil Warnock, a while to get going, with Tom Lees making a vital block to deny Joe Ralls a sight at goal.

Aron Gunnarsson registered the first shot on target midway through the half but Keiren Westwood was equal to the midfielder's fierce right foot strike.

But the Owls, looking compact and well-organised defensively, came close to opening the scoring when Lees got on the end of Kieran Lee's corner but the commanding defender steered his header inches wide.

Kenneth Zohore, the focal point of Cardiff's attack, saw his low free kick comfortably kept out by Westwood as Warnock's men continued to press for the opener.

However, the Bluebirds were caught out at the other end in the 39th minute as Hooper glanced in Adam Reach's superb cross from the left.

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It took a fine last-ditch challenge by Lees to prevent Junior Hoilett a sight at goal as Cardiff sought an immediate response.

And Cardiff finished the half strongly with Gunnarsson's rasping right foot effort from long range well held by Westwood.

After the restart, the visitors came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage when Lee Peltier sliced a clearance over his own bar.

Cardiff, lying in second position before kick-off, upped the ante and Gunnarsson headed Hoilett's corner narrowly off target before Hoilett forced Westwood into action.

After weathering the storm, Fletcher wasted a glorious chance to put the match out of the Bluebirds reach. He deftly chested down Joost van Aken's long, raking pass before lashing a left foot shot over.

Zohore and Joe Bennett went close for the home side in the dying embers of the contest before Bamba's late intervention.

Cardiff: Etheridge, Peltier, Bamba, Morrison, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Ralls, Bryson (Tomlin 82); Mendez-Laing, Hoilett (Feeney 71), Zohore (Ward 82). Substitutes: Murphy, Manga, Richards, Damour.

Owls: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, van Aken, Pudil; Lee (Wallace 74), Bannan (Butterfield 85), Jones, Reach; Fletcher, Hooper. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Rhodes, Palmer, Nuhiu, Venancio.

Attendance: 19,137

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

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