The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-07-28

Sport : 15 : 7


7 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 28 July 2020 ** Sport Football Fulham in box seat as Kebano takes tie away from Cardiff Championsh­ip play-off at Cardiff City Stadium By Alex Bywater think we’re well worthy of the two-goal lead,” said Parker. “We worked our socks off and our foundation was built on concrete, but it will be another huge battle on Thursday. We’ll stand up to the challenge.” On Mitrovic, Parker said: “He’s picked up a little bit of a hamstring knock. We went into this game knowing it is over two legs and we made a decision for the team. Hopefully we can get him fit.” Cardiff started well, but they paid the price for their missed chances, with Robert Glatzel the guilty party. Glatzel was denied by a brilliant clearance from Michael Hector, but he should have scored from close range. At the other end, Onomah worked Alex Smithies and Tom Cairney’s effort kissed a post. Fulham were the better side after the first drinks break and four min- Cardiff City Fulham Onomah 49, Kebano 90+1 Fulham played Cardiff off the park and produced two moments of magic as they took control of their play-off semi-final, even without Aleksandar Mitrovic. Serbian juggernaut Mitrovic – the Championsh­ip’s top scorer with 26 goals – was out injured, but his team were still too good for Cardiff as Josh Onomah and Neeskens Kebano struck. Onomah’s dribble and finish was matched in its audaciousn­ess by a curling free-kick from Kebano in added time. It means Scott Parker’s side are in total control ahead of Thursday’s second leg. utes into the second half Onomah stood up to be counted. Picking up possession with his back to goal, he turned Marlon Pack and beat Sean Morrison and Curtis Nelson. His finish was unerring. The goal saw Parker’s men grow in confidence and stature. Bobby Decordova-Reid, Mitrovic’s replacemen­t and a former Cardiff player, went close and the Welsh side made a triple change. It failed to work. In stoppage time, Cairney was fouled by Morrison. Kebano stepped up and left Smithies grasping at thin air. Neil Harris, the Cardiff manager, said: “It’s a real kick in the nuts. We have to take our chances when we’re on top. Fulham are now huge favourites and they celebrated like they’d won the tie at the end, but they have everything to lose and we have everything to gain.” Parker responded: “Neil has said a lot in the last few weeks. I saw nothing that was over the top.” Cardiff City (4-2-3-1) Smithies; Bacuna, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Pack, Ralls; Hoilett (Vaulks 70), MendezLain­g (Murphy 70), Tomlin; Glatzel (Ward 70). Etheridge (g), Sanderson, Flint, Bamba, Smith, Paterson. Hoilett, Bacuna. (4-2-3-1) Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Knockaert (Kamara 81), Onomah, Kebano (Odoi 90+4); Decordova-Reid. Bettinelli (g), Mawson, Sessegnon, Le Marchand, McDonald, Johansen, Jasper. Subs Booked Fulham Subs Referee Geoff Eltringham (Durham). EFL under pressure to resolve charges By John Percy ing up by one point, and the club have been vocal on the lack of action. Paul Conway, Barnsley’s co-chairman, said: “We want to empower the EFL to make quicker and stricter decisions, [but] much of the blame needs to be put on the clubs themselves. Some may be scared of retributio­n for speaking out, but I also believe some want to reserve their rights to create their own sketchy deals to attempt to skirt EFL regulation­s.” One senior Championsh­ip official, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s a disgrace, and Barnsley are spot on when they accuse the EFL of not maintainin­g integrity. The fact Sheffield Wednesday is unresolved brings the EFL into disrepute.” The English Football League is under renewed pressure from angry Championsh­ip clubs to resolve the charges hanging over Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County. Both clubs face the prospect of points deductions if found guilty of breaking EFL rules. They have appeared in front of separate independen­t disciplina­ry commission­s and the EFL is awaiting verdicts, with the majority of rivals demanding a resolution by the end of this week. Wigan Athletic’s appeal against a 12-point deduction for going into administra­tion will be heard on Friday, but at this stage they will be relegated along with Hull City and Charlton Athletic. A heavy points deduction for Wednesday, who ended the season eight points clear of the bottom three, could have a huge impact on the final relegation places. Wednesday were charged by the EFL in November with financial misconduct, relating to the sale of their stadium, and are awaiting the outcome of June’s hearing. Derby’s hearing concluded earlier this month and sources close to the club insist there is no possibilit­y of a verdict this season. Derby were charged with exceeding “excess losses” in a case also linked to their stadium. Barnsley ensured their survival on the final day by winning at Brentford, stay“I In brief

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