Leeds narrowly avoided an embarrassing FA Cup third round exit against second tier Cardiff as Sonny Perkins’ stoppage-time equaliser capped a stirring fightback from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw on Sunday.
After Premier League sides Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth crashed out against lower-league opposition on Saturday, Leeds was in danger of becoming the latest victim of the FA Cup’s famed ability to produce memorable giant-killings.
Jesse Marsch’s team was rocked by first-half goals from Jayden Philogene-Bidace and Sheyi Ojo in the rain-lashed south Wales.
But Cardiff, languishing just above the Championship relegation zone, was unable to hold on to its lead as Rodrigo got one back, then missed a penalty, before Perkins netted with seconds left to force a replay.
On an equally filthy afternoon in 2002, Leeds’ previous FA Cup trip to Cardiff had ended ignominiously.
Losing to supposedly inferior teams in the FA Cup has become something of an unwanted habit for Leeds since then, with Crawley, Newport, Sutton, Rochdale, Histon and Hereford enjoying memorable upsets against them.
Leeds started with a costly blunder in the 24th minute. Pascal Struijk waited for Leeds keeper Joel Robles to claim a long pass, but the ball ran through to Mark Harris.
Although Harris’s effort was saved by Robles, Philogene-Bidace was on hand to slot into the empty net. Former Liverpool winger Ojo then collected Andy Rinomhota’s chipped pass into Leeds area, chesting the ball down as he evaded Diego Llorente before driving a rising shot high into the net to double the lead.
Marsch sent on Rodrigo in the second half and the Spanish striker reduced the deficit in the 65th minute with a powerful header from Sam Greenwood’s cross.
Leeds wasted a golden opportunity to level after Cardiff’s Joel Bagan was sent off for handling Junior Firpo’s shot on the goal-line in the 80th minute.
Rodrigo took the resulting penalty but Jak Alnwick dived to his left to make a fine save.
Leeds refused to surrender and the 18-year-old Perkins flicked in the equaliser from close-range deep into stoppage-time despite Cardiff appeals for offside.
- WPL 2024: Struggling UP Warriorz eyes comeback against dominant Mumbai Indians
- Bopanna-Ebden, Yuki-Haase pairs advance, Nagal exits from Dubai Tennis C’ship
- Mexican Open: Second-seeded Holger Rune eases past American Michael Mmoh
- Argentina to play exhibition against Costa Rica instead of Nigeria in Los Angeles on March 26
- A low-ranked American tennis player banned after testing positive for marijuana at a tournament