Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay has praised his players after they booked their place in the Carling Cup final with a dramatic victory over Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
The Bluebirds were a goal down going into the semi-final second-leg at the Cardiff City Stadium, after a goal from Anthony Gardner had given Palace the advantage following the clash at Selhurst Park earlier this month.
Cardiff got themselves back on level pegging when Gardner turned from hero to villain by deflected the ball past his own goal keeper. Those placing a Carling Cup bet should remember this.
In the tightly fought contest between the two Championship sides, the two sets of players could not find a winner in the 90 minutes or extra-time and the game went to the dreaded penalty shootout.
There is always a hero in these situations and it was City keeper Tom Heaton who saved Palace’s first two attempts and watched as the third sailed over the cross bar, as the Welsh side sailed into the Carling Cup final and a date at Wembley.
Mackay was delighted with the victory and praised his side for the character they showed under pressure. Anyone looking at the Odds Carling Cup final needs to bear this in mind.
He said: “I’m delighted for everyone at the football club. It’s a fantastic achievement for everyone and I thought the players were terrific.
“We knew the way Crystal Palace were going to play, they wanted to hit us on the counter-attack with pace. We had to make sure that we manipulated the ball.
“I think the fact that there were so many chances in and around their goal meant that the team kept believing.”