ZOHORE STUNNER DEFLATES BURTON
NIGEL Clough is well aware one game does not define a season but the Burton Albion boss knows his side must be sharper if they want to defy the odds again this campaign.
The Brewers were beaten by a solitary late goal after Kenneth Zohore hit a screamer with just three minutes to go.
Albion, who are the pre-season favourites to be relegated, wasted a number of chances to hit the front in the closing stages of the first half.
And Clough knows his side cannot avoid to throw points away if they are to stay in the Championship for another season.
He said: “A draw would have been a fair result.
“They put us under pressure but we missed our chances in the first half and didn’t get the goal.
“They were strong in the second half, it was a great finish that beat us in the end.
“We had brilliant situations and chances and didn’t take them.
“We threw people in the way of crosses and shots, the effort that we showed is typical of this team. It is now what we do in the next 45 games.
“They did not test us too much in front of goal, but it was a brilliant goal that beat us but that is what you get at this level.
“The difference in the benches makes the difference and we will keep searching for more quality in front of goal.”
Zohore, who was the Bluebirds’ top scorer last season, had been denied an opening goal after just seven minutes when he was flagged by the assistant referee.
And the City faithful were left screaming for a penalty after Lee Tomlin went down under a Jake Buxton challenge in the box on 17 minutes.
Jackson Irvine meanwhile raced through on goal before firing an effort over the bar as Albion registered their first danger moment on 40 minutes.
A minute later it was Zohore’s turn to be wasteful when he fired just wide of Stephen Bywater’s goal.
Marvin Sordell then made a mess of a great chance to put the Brewers ahead two minutes before the halftime break.
Junior Hoilett saw a shot deflected narrowly wide five minutes after the restart.
Bywater then pulled off a wonderful save to keep out Sol Bamba out seconds later.
The visitors saw another penalty appeal turned away on 70 minutes when they felt Buxton had tugged at Zohore’s shirt.
But the deadlock was finally broken with three minutes to go when Zohore found space on the edge of the box and curled a cracker inside the far post to seal the three points for the visitors.
Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock said: “This is not an easy place to come and we had to battle for victory. It is very pleasing to start the season with a win.
“We were not at our best but Zohore was a handful today for Burton and he deserved to get the winner.
“It is a long season ahead in what is going to be a very tight league and this is a great way to start.
“I thought we were solid defensively and were not really troubled by Burton.
“It is very early days and we will get better as we develop and the season goes on.
“The lads deserve plenty of credit for sticking to their task until the end and they got their rewards.”
CHEERS: Kenneth Zohore is mobbed after scoring Cardiff’s winner