Cardiff missed the chance to move level on points with second-placed Derby as they were held to a goalless draw by Sheffield Wednesday in their Sky Bet Championship clash at Hillsborough.
Neil Warnock's Cardiff side had Kenneth Zohore's goal disallowed after 12 minutes, and though they dominated for much of the first half, they had to be alert to fight off a barrage of chances from the Owls minutes before the break.
The game turned on its head in the second half and Lucas Joao could not make the best of two gilt-edged chances as the hosts grew in confidence, although neither side was able to force a way through in the end.
The stalemate sees Sheffield Wednesday stay in 17th place in the table, while the Bluebirds add another point to their tally as the Championship promotion race remains finely-balanced.
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith (7), Venancio (6), Pudil (6), Thorniley (6), Palmer (6), Jones (6), Wallace (6), Reach (6), Fox (7), Rhodes (6), Joao (7)
Subs: Matias (5), Boyd (4), Nuhiu (5)
Cardiff: Etheridge (6), Richards (6), Manga (5), Grujic (6), Bamba (7), Bennett (6), Hoilett (6), Ralls (5), Morrison (6), Wildschut (5), Zohore (5)
Subs: Mendez-Laing (5), Paterson (5), Harris (N/A)
Man of the match: Lucas Joao
Cardiff did not look like a side who had lost four of their last five league games and were right to feel aggrieved inside 15 minutes when Zohore had a spectacular curling effort chalked off following a 50/50 challenge with Wednesday debutant Jordan Thorniley.
The game was unspectacular for large periods, but it sparked into life in the final minutes of the first half as Jordan Rhodes headed over the Owls' best chance following a clever free-kick routine delivered by David Jones.
Just three players remained in the Wednesday starting line-up from the side that gave Jos Luhukay his first win in charge against Carlisle in the FA Cup last weekend. Jordan Thorniley made his first-team debut in the Owls' backline.
Neil Warnock, in contrast, made just three changes following Cardiff’s 4-1 thrashing of Mansfield, with Sol Bamba and Yanic Wildschut returning; Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic made his debut for the Bluebirds.
Adam Reach also wasted a good chance when he sliced a volley over the bar following a rapid counter-attack two minutes later, before Sol Bamba atoned for misjudging Reach's cross with a last-ditch challenge to dispossess Morgan Fox at the far post.
There was a lack of bite in the Cardiff play after the restart and they were almost punished for their creative deficiencies when Rhodes capitalised on Daniel Pudil's poor defensive header to release Joao, but the Portuguese dragged his shot across goal.
The forward then headed another Rhodes cross straight at Joe Wildsmith shortly afterwards, before the subdued Yanic Wildschut volleyed against the stanchion at the opposite end of the pitch just after the hour.
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Wednesday substitute Marco Matias almost carved a chance of his own, latching onto Joao's pass just minutes after coming on, but Neil Etheridge read the chance like a book as Wednesday extended their run to six-and-a-half hours without a Championship goal.
Man of the match - Lucas Joao
A typically tenacious performance from the 24-year-old at Hillsborough, although he should have done better with two huge chances either side of the hour mark.
Jos Luhukay: "It was a very hard game. Cardiff had a good team with strong, physical players. They were also dangerous. I think in the first half we had problems controlling the game but we did not give a lot of chances away.
"Cardiff in the first half had two or three chances but at the end of the first half we had two good chances to score. The defending over 90 minutes was stable. We have good work in the defending. I've seen my team in a third game and I can live with my team. We are working intensively every day and we have made steps."
Neil Warnock: "A point away is a good point in the Championship, but I'm disappointed the goal was disallowed. I don't know what the game is coming to - 2018 and you can't get a goal like that.
"We had a few lads in who hadn't played for a long time and you run out of steam - it's a hard league. We're just glad to be where we are; it's been a great season so far."
Both sides are in FA Cup fourth-round action next weekend - the Owls welcome Jaap Stam's Reading to Hillsborough on Friday evening, while Cardiff host Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.