Boro beaten by Bluebirds: Match Review

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Football News

Chris Burke scored the only goal of the game as Cardiff moved up to third in the Coca-Cola Championship with a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Burke broke the deadlock shortly after the hour mark with a curling free-kick from the left flank that evaded everyone on its way into the net.

David Wheater headed against the crossbar for Boro moments later and Leroy Lita saw an effort cleared off the line by Adam Matthews, but the hosts could not find a way through to leave boss Gordon Strachan still looking for his first win on home soil.

Middlesbrough's misery was compounded when highly-rated winger Adam Johnson limped off with a hamstring problem.

Cardiff, meanwhile, saw three players leave the field through injury, including the league's top scorer Peter Whittingham, who picked up a groin strain in the first half.

The hosts started brightly and saw a number of shots blocked in a frenzied opening five minutes.

Dave Kitson also fired wide for Boro from 12 yards, while Cardiff striker Michael Chopra missed the target with a drilled effort from the edge of the area.

Clear-cut chances proved to be few and far between as the opening period wore on, with both teams largely restricted to hopeful efforts from outside the box.

Cardiff suffered a blow in the 32nd minute as Whittingham limped off, with Kelvin Etuhu coming on in his place.

And Middlesbrough came close to taking the lead five minutes later as Mark Yeates' 25-yard free-kick was parried away by David Marshall at full stretch.

The visitors ended the first half on top, with the impressive Burke testing Brad Jones with a curling shot and Jay Bothroyd heading directly at the Australian goalkeeper from a corner.

Johnson fired narrowly over from 20 yards shortly after the interval as Middlesbrough looked to get back on the front foot.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones was then forced into his second change, with Matthews replacing the injured Kevin McNaughton.

Mark Hudson fired over from an Etuhu cross in the 56th minute and the Bluebirds took the lead five minutes later through Burke's inswinging free-kick.

Boro responded immediately and a goalmouth scramble saw Wheater head against the bar before Matthews scrambled away Lita's rebound.

The home side's hopes of getting back into the game were dented when Johnson limped off with 22 minutes remaining.

However, they wasted a fine opportunity to draw level in the 73rd minute when Leroy Lita prodded a shot inches wide with the outside of his right boot.

Cardiff were rarely troubled thereafter and almost added a second late on when the impressive Burke weaved his way into the right side of the box before narrowly failing to pick out Chopra at the far post.

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Chris Burke
Kelvin Etuhu
Peter Whittingham
Mark Yeates
Mark Hudson
Gordon Strachan
David Marshall
Adam Matthews
Michael Chopra
Kevin McNaughton
Mark Hudson
David Wheater
Mark Hudson
Leroy Lita
Dave Kitson
Brad Jones
Adam Johnson
Jay Bothroyd

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