17.08.2012 CHAMPIONSHIP 2012/2013
Cardiff City - Huddersfield Town 1:0
21 thousand people came to see the season opening match. Worth noting - a Championship match, the mighty Premier League forecourt.
Although none of the teams declared any super ambitious plans, the fans expected a good competition and did not leave the ground disappointed. Prior to the kick off, the venue started trembling to its foundations as the the traditional Welsh song "Men of Harlech" commenced.
Not too many big names in both teams' squads, with one exception - Craig Bellamy, who signed a 2-year contract with Cardiff City shortly before the season, has a track record including the top leagues of England (Norwich, Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool, Blackburn, WHU) as well as Scotland (Celtic). The former Welsh international is famous for his troublesome character and being prone to conflicts. By the way - he happened to be the only Welshman to have appeared on the Cardiff City Stadium pitch that evening.
The guests, after a somehow fearful entry, started putting structure into the game and soon got an opportunity to open the match score - a Huddersfield striker lost a one-on-one duel with David Marshall - the same with whom Artur Boruc won rivalry for the Celtic #1 several years before. It is strange the goalkeeper of that class, still young (born in 1985) did not find a Premier League club. If he continuously shows the performance level as he did against Huddersfield, it is likely Cardiff would soon need to find a successor.
The visiting team fell a victim of its own cunning: instead of looking for opportunities to harvest 3 points, Huddersfield started buying the time and this in a very irritating and primitive manner - through injury simulation. Technical referee showed extra 5 minutes to play which appeared decisive for the match: one of the ball crosses in the penalty area found the Cardiff full back who did not leave any shadow of a chance to the guests goalie.
I hope those fools who left the stadium earlier had truly regreted this. I will never understand those who have to leave the ground in the 86th minute to a) have a piss, b) buy a beer or a sausage without a queue c) find a means of transport "faster".
Fortunately, those are largely outnumbered by the normal fans - the last second goals are scored just for them.