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Cardiff City 3-1 Huddersfield Town

Cardiff CityCardiff City
Huddersfield TownHuddersfield Town
3
1
FT
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Cardiff made a successful return to the Championship on home soil with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Huddersfield.

The Bluebirds won only five times at the Cardiff City Stadium last season in a short-lived spell in the Premier League but they immediately found the Championship much more to their taste.

Peter Whittingham set them on their way with a wonderful long-range strike and Kenwyne Jones scored either side of half-time to make it three goals in two games for the former Stoke and Sunderland striker.

Murray Wallace briefly gave Huddersfield hope when he made it 2-1 in first-half stoppage time but caretaker-boss Mark Lillis could not oversee a second-half comeback for the Terriers.

Lillis had been put in charge following the shock departure of Mark Robins after the 4-0 home defeat to Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the season.

There was little to get excited about in the opening stages until Jones failed to make contact with the ball from Mats Daehli's cross with the goal beckoning.

But that chance stirred Cardiff into life and almost immediately Whittingham fired the Bluebirds ahead after 28 minutes.

There seemed no danger when Whittingham picked the ball up from 30 yards but the midfielder took aim with his trusty left-foot and expertly found the bottom of Alex Smithies' net.

Seven minutes later Cardiff doubled their advantage when John Brayford's ball cleared the head of centre-half Joel Lynch to find Jones.

The Trinidadian was foiled at the first attempt by Smithies but the ball rolled back into his path for the big striker to convert.

Huddersfield had played some neat and tidy football until that point without possessing a cutting edge and Radoslaw Majewski dragged his shot wide after some inventive build-up play.

But the Terriers were back in the game in first-half injury time when Wallace's skewed header fell to Conor Coady at the far post.

Coady forced a fine point-blank save from David Marshall but the rebound fell to Wallace, who crashed it home past several defenders on the line.

Huddersfield went close to an equaliser when Majewski tested Marshall soon after the re-start but the Scottish goalkeeper batted out his 25-yard effort to safety.

But Cardiff restored their two-goal lead after 56 minutes when Daehli spotted the unmarked Jones 10 yards from goal, the finish unerring high into Smithies' net.

Jones might have collected his hat-trick in bizarre fashion 10 minutes later when Daehli's drive hit him on the back and flew goalwards, but Smithies held on.

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed Spanish summer signing Javi Guerra his debut for Jones to earn a deserved standing ovation but Huddersfield refused to lie down.

Nakhi Wells created a chance for himself with a smart turn but his effort from an acute angle came back off the woodwork.

Marshall tipped over substitute Jordan Sinnott's close-range shot late on but Cardiff ran out easy victors.

ends

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