It was a piece of sheer class from in form Cardiff man Jordon Mutch that proved to be the difference between the sides at Craven Cottage on what proved to be a frustrating autumn afternoon for the Fulham faithful.
Mutch’s goal, struck deep in to added time at the end of the second half, stunned the cottage as Cardiff seized all three points to the delight of their travelling fans and the dismay of under fire Fulham boss Martin Jol.
As the boos echoed once more at the end of the ninety minutes at Craven Cottage, the Dutchman cut an isolated figure as he pondered his future, head in hands within the Fulham dugout.
The early encounters saw Fulham attempt to force Cardiff to play the predominant amount of their football in their own half but they were unable to provide any tangible assistance to strikers Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov who were both peripheral figures throughout the afternoon.
When Steven Caulker rose powerfully to nod home the opener on twelve minutes, it was slightly against the run of play. Cardiff went on to become the more dynamic of the two sides, however, and were a constant threat to the Fulham goal in the face of some hapless defending.
Despite Giorgos Karagounis forcing in-form Cardiff keeper David Marshall into a superb diving save on 28 minutes, it was Cardiff that continued to look the most likely to add another goal as both Fraiser Campbell and Aron Gunnarsson went close around the half hour mark.
Ruiz’s brilliant goal on the stroke of half time gave hope to the Fulham crowd, but it was Cardiff who kept pushing on and it came as no surprise that it was them that took all three points through young Mutch’s stunning effort that sent the Cardiff fans in to dreamland.
His 94th minute effort consigned Jol’s Fulham team to their fourth defeat in six league games this year and means they remain in the bottom three.
Cardiff on the other hand, rise to 11th, leapfrogging champions Manchester United in the process.
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