1-1 read out Cardiff: Yakou Meite scores dramatic equalizer at the last minute against Mick McCarthy
After dreaming all season of an unexpected return to the Premier League after an eight-year hiatus, reality has caught up with Reading.
They have faded away from home for the season, straight from certainty to finish in the play-off positions to look in desperately on the outside.
While they did manage to save a point through Yakou Meite’s header in the depths of injury time, and cancel Kieffer Moore’s penalty for Cardiff, it probably won’t be enough.
Kieffer Moore scored late from the penalty spot with what appeared to be a winning goal
Yakou Meite tied the score in the 94th minute, but Reading needed more than one point
Read (4-2-3-1): Rafael; Yiadom (Baldock 90 + 1), Holmes, Moore (c), Richards (Aluko 90 + 1); Hot (Swift 77), Laurent; Meite, Olise (Tetek 90 + 1), Ejaria; Joao (Puscas 58)
Switches not used: Southwood (GK); Esteves, Gibson, Semedo
Scorer: Meite 90 + 4
Manager: Veljko Paunovic
Cardiff City (3-4-1-2): Smithies; Nelson, Flint (c), Brown; Sang, Vaulks, Pack (Murphy 70), Ng; Ralls; Wilson (Ojo 81), Moore
Replacements not used: Phillips (GK); Osei-Tutu, Williams, Colwill, Hoilett, Harris, Watters
Scorer: Moore pen 87
Manager: Mick McCarthy
Booked: Nelson, Pack, Brown
Referee: John Brooks
The Royals are four points behind Bournemouth in fifth place and Barnsley in sixth place with only four games to play.
They can only hope those two lose both this weekend to extend the chase into the final weeks. Even then, you feel like Reading has lost its appetite for the championship marathon after just one win out of seven.
At least they haven’t marked here. In the last minute, Meite rose the highest to meet Sam Baldock’s cross, while Aden Flint couldn’t stop it across the line.
But it was an underperformance against Cardiff who was already thinking about his form next season. Slow reading had created very little and was startled three minutes before time.
After Sheyi Ojo’s first shot was ejected by goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, Bayern Munich-bound Omar Richards brought down Moore, who rose to play his 17th goal of the season.
“We have shown again that we will never give up,” said Royals boss Veljko Paunovic. A penalty kick changed the game, but we bounced back and scored a goal and it was too late to score a second one.
‘No one will give up, we will not crumble. We will do our best and fight to the end. ‘
Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy described himself as ‘livid’ after the late equalizer.
‘We shouldn’t have let them go. I can’t criticize the guys too much because those 94 minutes they were great, ‘he said.
“You drop your guard against good teams and you get punished.”
Cardiff started it brighter, testing Reading’s defense during the opening changes when McCarthy’s thumping sideline instructions echoed off the Madejski’s empty blue seats.
Wales winger Harry Wilson looked lively, haggling a shot that Aden Flint just missed with an extended boot, but from an offside position.
Michael Olise was smart for Reading and was involved in promising bouts for the hosts
A better chance came in 16 minutes as Wilson drifted into the infield and tried to curl the ball home from the edge of the penalty area. The Liverpool lender was denied by Reading keeper Rafael, who dived low to the right to turn him away with one hand.
Reading was slow for the first half hour before some sustained pressure was finally applied.
The same move saw Michael Olise and Ovie Ejaria blocked two shots apiece before Meite’s heel move didn’t bother Alex Smithies from a good position.
Reading had to create more and Smithies made good on his near-post from Lucas Joao after Olise’s clever through ball from a free kick. Joao had previously dislocated his shoulder and was forced to step off after falling awkwardly after this effort.
And there was another good opening 20 minutes after the time that Meite, leaning back, came over from 12 meters after good constructive play by Richards and Josh Laurent.
Harry Wilson almost opened the score with a dink that was cleared well off the line
But then it got worse. Wilson went through in a rare Cardiff attack, diving over Rafael before Andy Yiadom went off the line.
And with time running out, Richards’ clumsy tackle and Moore’s unfailing penalty left them pointless. Even Meite’s late leveler may not be enough now.
Derby’s concerns about relegation grew after Harvey Elliott’s attack condemned them to a damaging 2-1 defeat at Blackburn.
Wayne Rooney’s side went ahead against the only team in worse shape in the last six games when former Rovers mercenary Tom Lawrence headed in from close range.
They looked comfortable for spells afterwards, but gave away two soft goals that made the match in Blackburn’s favor, via the clever header from Sam Gallagher just before halftime – his seventh of the season – and Liverpool tenant Elliott who is 50th. senior performance in style marked and benefited after Andre Wisdom unnecessarily gave up possession.
These are troubling times for Rooney’s men who, despite a decent performance, lost their fourth game in five games and remain fourth from the bottom, four points above Rotherham, who has three games to hand.
Harvey Elliott scored the winner as Blackburn came from behind to beat Derby 2-1 at home