Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Cardiff City

30 Apr

Sheffield Wednesday players celebrate Gary Hooper's opening goal against Cardiff


Sheffield Wednesday players celebrate Gary Hooper’s opening goal against Cardiff

Sheffield Wednesday sealed their place in the Championship play-offs by beating Cardiff at Hillsborough.

After a goalless first half, Gary Hooper struck on the rebound to put the hosts in front.

A mistake by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall led to an own goal from Lee Peltier, before Hooper scored his second in added time.

Sixth-placed Wednesday now have an unassailable seven-point lead over Cardiff in seventh with one game left.

Carlos Carvalhal’s side will have to wait until the final weekend – when they are away at Wolves – to discover their play-off opponents.

They are guaranteed to finish at least sixth but could yet climb to fifth, with current occupants Derby at third-placed Brighton on Monday.

Wednesday only needed a draw against Cardiff to secure the final play-off spot but looked intent on claiming victory with a forceful start.

Roared on by a packed Hillsborough, the hosts were close to opening the scoring with Daniel Pudil shooting over and Hooper striking the post from 25 yards.

Cardiff's Sean Morrison (left) challenges Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday<!–

Cardiff’s Sean Morrison (left) challenges Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday

Cardiff dug in to keep the game goalless at the interval, threatening briefly as Peter Whittingham fired wide from the edge of the area.

Wednesday eventually broke their opponents’ resistance after 64 minutes, as Hooper struck high into the net after Pudil’s initial shot was saved.

Former Celtic and Norwich striker Hooper had a hand in the second goal 10 minutes later, pinching the ball from Marshall and forcing Peltier to put the ball into his own net.

Hooper scored his second with a neat finish in added time.

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal: “I said from the beginning that we were outsiders this season.

“We achieved this place because we have a fantastic group of players, they’re acting like a team, we are one as a team.

“We feel strong at the moment, like at the beginning of the season. We saw that today. We saw the reaction when we lost the ball – we were like dogs.

“Getting to the play-offs is the work of a lot of people; the players, the chairman and the fans who turn out home and away.”

Cardiff manager Russell Slade told BBC Radio Wales: “It hurts. I’m just very disappointed with the second half and a couple of the goals we conceded.

“If you stay in the game, the pressure mounts on them but we were not able to apply that in the second period.

“We were not a great enough threat in that second half. It was not to be. I have to say we got beaten by the better side.”

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