GUTSY WIN: Cardiff beat Blackpool thanks to Bacuna and Moore
Second-half strikes from Leandro Bacuna and sub Kieffer Moore handed gutsy Cardiff a well-deserved 2-0 victory at Blackpool.
Mick McCarthy’s men were worthy victors thanks to a fine all-round display which secured them their first second-tier win of the season.
Newly-promoted Blackpool’s early-season progress was checked with a first defeat on their return to the Championship.
Blackpool were in their first home Championship game in six years and started off at a brisk pace, though it was Cardiff who threatened first.
Sean Morrison flicked the ball smartly into the path of Aden Flint, only for his header to be well kept out by home goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.
The visitors then fluffed a terrific chance in the 10th minute when Ryan Giles darted clean through, only to be thwarted by an alert Maxwell.
Four minutes later the woodwork came to Blackpool’s rescue. Flint pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the six-yard box before lashing an acrobatic overhead kick against the underside of the crossbar.
Blackpool had been on the back foot early on, but they came close themselves when Luke Garbutt’s goal-bound strike was blocked.
Neil Critchley’s men were then unlucky when Jerry Yates only just failed to connect with Tyreece John-Jules’ measured cross.
An end-to-end clash then saw Cardiff go close again when Maxwell dived full length to palm away a curling cross-shot from Giles.
Cardiff piled on the pressure as half-time approached and, after Marlon Pack drilled a shot narrowly over, James Collins somehow managed to scoop an effort clear of the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.
Blackpool defender Callum Connolly dragged an effort well wide just before the break, but the deadlock was finally broken in the 52nd minute.
Bacuna struck clinically for Cardiff following a long throw-in routine, heading home from close range after meeting Morrison’s flick-on.
The noisy Bloomfield Road faithful were stunned for a while and it wasn’t until the 62nd minute that the next half-chance came.
It was Cardiff again who threatened, with Collins only just failing to convert an overhead attempt following a neat knock-down from Joe Ralls.
At the other end, Blackpool sub Josh Bowler almost made an immediate impact as he charged through the middle before dragging a shot disappointingly wide.
In keeping with the flow of the game, Cardiff then came close to doubling their advantage when Morrison’s well-struck volley deflected behind for a corner.
With 18 minutes left, Blackpool’s Grant Ward thumped a strike in from 30 yards, only to be denied by Dillon Phillips’ superb flying save.
Moore wrapped up Cardiff’s win with four minutes left, however, as he climbed to head home a pinpoint cross from Giles.
Connolly almost halved Blackpool’s deficit when he headed into the side-netting late on, but his team had been second-best on the day.
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