Cardiff 0 Brighton 2 match report: Bluebirds left red-faced byTomasz Kuszczak as Andrea Orlandi and Leonardo Ulloa seal win

Cardiff 0 Brighton 2: Bluebirds left red-faced by Kuszczak as Orlandi and Ulloa seal win

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

21:54 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 19 February 2013

Tomasz Kuszczak produced an inspired performance to give Cardiff’s Far East owners a compelling argument that red is perhaps not such a lucky colour after all.

The Brighton goalkeeper pulled off a string of brilliant saves on the night thousands of free red scarves were handed to home fans to dissuade them from wearing blue.

Spanish rose: Andrea Orlandi is congratulated by team-mates for his opener

Spanish rose: Andrea Orlandi is congratulated by team-mates for his opener

Match facts

Cardiff: Marshall, Connolly, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Noone (Conway 53), Whittingham, Smith, Gunnarsson, Bellamy, Campbell (Helguson 84). Subs not used: Lewis, McNaughton, Cowie, Kim, Mason.

Booked: Hudson.

Brighton: Kuszczak, Saltor, El-Abd, Upson, Bridge, Buckley (Forster-Caskey 90), Hammond (Calderon 75), David Lopez, Bridcutt, Orlandi (Dicker 70), Ulloa. Subs not used: Ankergren, Vicente, LuaLua, Barker.

Booked: El-Abd, Bridcutt, Saltor.

Goals: Orlandi 43, Ulloa 90.

Attendance: 23,782.

Referee: Keith Stroud.

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Kuszczak’s clean sheet ensured
counter-attack goals from ex-Swansea winger Andrea Orlandi and Leonardo
Ulloa gave the visitors a somewhat fortunate victory that condemned the
hosts to a first defeat in 10 Championship games.

Malky Mackay’s side went into last
night’s game eight points clear with Premier League promotion firmly in
their sights but by the end the lead was cut to five.

The manager, whose 41st birthday was spoilt by defeat, promised jitters would not creep in.

‘We’ll just make sure we stay
steady,’ he said. ‘I thought we were excellent. We had 22 attempts on
target, which is quite incredible. It was one of those nights where the
goal led a charmed life.’

Gus Poyet was unable to express his
pleasure at closing the gap to the play-off paces to two points because
of a sore throat but first team coach Charlie Oatway stepped in to
praise the former Manchester United No 1.

‘Tomas did very well,’ he said. ‘I
think he’s one of the best keepers outside the Premier League, probably
should be plying his trade still in it.’

Code red: Craig Bellamy speeds past Brighton's Will Buckley but it was in vain

Code red: Craig Bellamy speeds past Brighton's Will Buckley but it was in vain

Cardiff’s Fraizer Campbell clipped
the bar after three minutes and Craig Noone had a shot held well by
Kuszczak. On 20 minutes the Poland international clawed away a curler
from Peter Whittingham, then deflected Craig Bellamy’s shot on to the
woodwork.

David Marshall pulled off a stunning
save of his own to deny Ulloa but the Cardiff goalkeeper could do
nothing to stop Brighton stealing ahead two minutes before the interval.
David Lopez slid a cross to the feet of Orlandi, who scored with the
outside of his left boot.

After the break Cardiff pushed again.
Bellamy howled for a penalty after being shoved by Adam El-Abd as he
sprinted into the area but referee Keith Stroud only awarded a
free-kick.

Kuszczak then tipped over substitute
Craig Conway’s ferocious drive. With five minutes remaining Aron
Gunnarsson glanced wide at the far post from six yards.

Then in the fifth minute of added time, Lopez found Ulloa and the striker slotted in with the aid of a deflection.