Cardiff City 2 Leeds United 2: Teenage sub saves Whites in dramatic finale after penalty miss

Teenage substitute striker Sonny Perkins bagged a 93rd-minute equaliser to save Leeds United’s skin in the FA Cup third round and seal a 2-2 draw at Cardiff City and Elland Road replay.
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Cardiff went ahead with their first real attack in the 24th minute as Jaden Philogene-Bidace fired home after Mark Harris had been played in behind Pascal Struijk and Junior Firpo. The Bluebirds then doubled their lead just seven minutes later as Sheyi Ojo netted from the middle of the box after Andy Rinomhota this time played the ball in behind Diego Llorente.

But Leeds finally burst into life following a triple substitution ten minutes into the second half and one of the substitutes in Rodrigo pulled a goal back less than five minutes after coming on when heading home from a short corner after a Sam Greenwood cross.

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The Whites were then awarded a penalty with ten minutes left as Joel Bagan kept out a Junior Firpo drive with a handball on the line for which he was sent off but Rodrigo saw his spot kick saved. Leeds then squandered further chances to draw level and looked to be heading out but the Whites equalised in the 93rd minute through teenage substitute striker Perkins who flicked home from close range.

SAVIOUR: Sonny Perkins draws Leeds United level in the 93rd minute. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.SAVIOUR: Sonny Perkins draws Leeds United level in the 93rd minute. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.
SAVIOUR: Sonny Perkins draws Leeds United level in the 93rd minute. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.

The Whites initially made a bright start and 18-year-old Darko Gybabui fired a firm effort just wide from the edge of the box in just the second minute.

Brenden Aaronson was then denied in his claims for a penalty after being barged off the ball in the area after having his shirt held.

After a loose back pass from Whites captain Pascal Struijk, Leeds then survived a fifth-minute Cardiff corner.

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From a quick Whites break, Cardiff's Tom Sang was booked for scything down Crysencio Summerville who looked in pain as he stayed down and required treatment.

Summerville was eventually able to continue and the Leeds pressure continued as Gyabi continued to impress, the midfielder seeing another firm shot blocked after nifty footwork on the edge of the box.

The Whites then squandered their best chance yet to go ahead in the 20th minute when a low cross from Willy Gnonto fell to Summerville who could only blast over from the middle of the box.

But instead Cardiff went ahead in the 24th minute as Mark Harris was played in behind Struijk and the ball was eventually worked to Aston Villa loanee Jaden Philogene-Bidace who fired home from close range with the Whites defence chasing their tail.

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Leeds looked to respond but Gnonto was booked for diving in the box despite having already beaten and Struijk's miserable afternoon then continued as he was booked for wiping out Isaak Davies.

Leeds were looking rattled and the Whites fell further behind in the 35th minute as Andy Rinomhota played in Sheyi Ojo behind Diego Llorente and Ojo produced a clinical rising finish past Joe Robles from the middle of the box.

Leeds were going nowhere although Fagan was booked for going in late on Rasmus Kristensen but Cardiff continued on the front foot and Fagan fired wide and over from the edge of the box.

From a rare Leeds attack, Gnonto sent a free header over the bar from a corner from close range and Cardiff keeper Jak Alnwick then raced out of his area to clear as Brendan Aaronson looked to latch on to a Joe Gelhardt through ball.

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But Cardiff finished back on the front foot with the crowd giving oles to a series of passes before Llorente and Struijk collided under pressure from Davies at the back.

Whites boss Jesse Marsch opted to make no changes during the interval and the Whites made no inroads with a Struijk cross from the left that keeper Alnwick gathered the best it got in the first ten minutes after the restart.

Marsch finally made a triple change in the 56th minute as Kristensen, Gyabi and Summerville were withdrawn for debutante Max Wober, Cody Drameh and Rodrigo.

Leeds finally began to put Cardiff under some pressure but Struijk squandered a glorious chance in the 63rd minute when sending a completely free header wide from six yards out from a Sam Greenwood corner.

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Wober and Drameh then both saw shots blocked but the Whites pulled a goal back in the 65th minute as Rodrigo powered home a header from a Sam Greenwood cross from a short corner.

Leeds suddenly had momentum and Greenwood wasted an opening when blazing over from inside the box.

Gelhardt was then taken off as Mateo Joseph was introduced with 16 minutes left and Leeds were handed a glorious chance to equalise in the 80th minute when Joel Bagan kept out a Junior Firpo drive with his hand and was set off as referee Jarred Gillet pointed to the penalty spot.

Rodrigo stepped up looking to draw Leeds level but keeper Alnwick dived the right way and made a strong save.

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Marsch then made another change with five minutes left as Sonny Perkins replaced Aaronson but it was Joseph who squandered the next glorious chance as he blazed wide from close range after an Aaronson cross.

Leeds were then given five minutes of added time to bag an equaliser and broke Cardiff hearts by bagging one in the 93rd minute as Perkins flicked home from close range after a neat Rodrigo flick.

Cardiff City: Alnwick, Sang, Nelson, Simpson, Bagan, Rinomhota, Sawyers (Wintle 78), Ojo (Ralls 86), Philogene (O Dowda 77), Harris (Ng 86), Davies (Tanner 64). Subs not used: Allsop, L Benajmin, Nkounkou, Wigley.

Leeds United: Robles, Kristensen (Drameh 59), Llorente, Struijk, Firpo, Gyabi (Wober 59), Greenwood, Aaronson (Perkins 85), Summerville (Rodrigo 59), Gnonto, Gelhardt (Joseph 74). Subs not used: Klaesson, Ayling, Roca, Harrison.