2007/08 FA Cup: Cardiff joins Portsmouth in Cup final

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 6, 2008
Barnsley 0 – 1 Cardiff Wembley, London
Attendance: 82,752
Kozluk Booked after 21 minutes 21'
Ferenczi Substituted off after 65 minutes 65'
Coulson Substituted on after 65 minutes 65'
Devaney Substituted off after 68 minutes 68'
Leon Substituted on after 68 minutes 68'
Campbell-Ryce Booked after 82 minutes 82'
Kozluk Substituted off after 86 minutes 86'
Butterfield Substituted on after 86 minutes 86'
Match Report Scored after 9 minutes 9' (1) Ledley
Substituted off after 47 minutes 47' McNaughton
Substituted on after 47 minutes 47' Ramsey
Substituted off after 61 minutes 61' Sinclair
Substituted on after 61 minutes 61' Thompson
Booked after 63 minutes 63' Whittingham
Booked after 77 minutes 77' McPhail
Substituted off after 88 minutes 88' Hasselbank
Substituted on after 88 minutes 88' Scimeca

Cardiff will return to Wembley next month to play Portsmouth in the FA Cup final after defeating Barnsley on Sunday. Both teams defeated Premier League opposition to get to this stage, with Cardiff defeating Middlesbrough and Barnsley toppling London giants Chelsea. The teams continued their positive play in this match, but only a single goal was scored in the game.

It was Joe Ledley who opened the game up early with his well aimed volley. Cardiff pressurized the Barnsley goal early, and just as Robert Kozluk cleared the ball away with his head, Ledley connected with his left foot to float the ball over Luke Steele and give Cardiff the lead. The goal lit a fire under Barnsley and Stephen Foster could have equalized within minutes, but his header flew just wide. The game was played end to end for much of the first half, with Cardiff providing more of the games cutting edge.

In the second half the game continued to be played open. Ledley had a strong run down the sidelines for Cardiff, but Rae's header from the resulting cross was sent directly into Steele's arms. Kayode Odejayi then missed a glorious chance for Barnsley to draw level in the 66th minute. The Nigerian striker found himself one-on-one with Cardiff keeper Peter Enckelman, but Odejayi's shot went wide, rippling the side netting. Barnsley continued to push for the equalizer, but couldn't find the quality they had to take out Chelsea and Liverpool in previous rounds.

The appearance in the final is Cardiff's first since 1927 when they defeated Arsenal 1-0 and brought the FA Cup to Wales. The Bluebirds will look to take the trophy out of England for only the second time in history through 127 finals. Portsmouth and Cardiff will face off in the final on May 17th at Wembley.