Fulham 2-2 Cardiff: Kevin McDonald nicks late draw for home side
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 20/08/16 5:39pm
Kevin McDonald preserved Fulham's unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season with a late leveller in the 2-2 draw with Cardiff.
Cardiff trailed to 16-year-old Ryan Sessegnon's opener before two fine strikes from Joe Ralls and Anthony Pilkington turned this game on its head.
However, new summer signing McDonald struck with four minutes left to earn Slavisa Jokanovic's side a deserved point and extended their impressive start to the new campaign.
A slow start to the game saw McDonald drag his shot wide after Ralls' poor pass presented him with a shooting chance.
Cardiff were paying the price for gifting away possession as Cauley Woodrow fired over after 25 minutes after threatening to seize on another mistake from the visitors.
Fulham did make their pressure tell when they opened the scoring in the 44th minute.
Sone Aluko turned Matthew Connolly and Sessegnon, who had only been on the pitch three minutes, scrambled home the opener from close range.
The teenage left-wing back also had the honour of becoming the youngest ever scorer in the Championship - at the age of 16 years and 94 days.
The England Under-16 captain has been tipped for a Premier League move and his impact would have have interested the scouts in attendance at Craven Cottage.
But you could clearly see why Cardiff had until this point failed to score this season.
Their 2-1 midweek win over Blackburn was thanks to two own goals and it looked like they would require another favour here to haul themselves level.
Instead their equaliser came via their own player and from a first shot on target from Ralls on the hour.
The goal came out of the blue as the midfielder found space on the edge of the area and fired spectacularly home from 25 yards out.
Fulham goalkeeper David Button could not believe his luck and the travelling supporters' chant of "we scored a goal" summed up their early-season frustration with the shot-shy Welsh side.
Cardiff substitute Kadeem Harris then forced Button into a routine save but Fulham had certainly been stung by the equaliser - and they were on the ropes when Pilkington hit them with another stunning strike from long-range.
The makeshift striker cut inside before curling home beyond Button in the 65th minute to give the Bluebirds a 2-1 lead.
Fulham substitute Matt Smith saw his header saved by David Marshall but Cardiff came close to extending their lead in the 69th minute.
Peter Whittingham's free-kick beat Button but rebounded off the underside of the crossbar and bounced out to safety.
Ralls again tried his luck from distance but was inches wide for Cardiff, before Fulham's late efforts paid off.
Scott Parker volleyed over before McDonald drove through a crowd for his first Fulham goal in the 86th minute as honours ended even.