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Plymouth 2-1 Cardiff

Plymouth's Emile Mpenza celebrates his goal
Emile Mpenza celebrates his second goal of the season

Plymouth maintained their Championship play-off push as Argyle held on to beat injury-hit Cardiff 2-1 at Home Park.

Plymouth's Emile Mpenza opened the scoring as the former Belgium striker outmuscled Darren Purse to fire in Rory Fallon's flick on from close range.

Paul Gallagher doubled the lead two minutes later, tapping in after Chris Clarke's right-wing cross hit the bar.

Michael Chopra dragged Cardiff into the game, rounding keeper Romain Larrieu after Wayne Routledge's intricate pass.

Both sides suffered injury problems as Argyle goal-scorer Gallagher, on loan from Premier League Blackburn, hobbled off with a leg injury.

And Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton, on loan from European and Premier League champions Manchester United, also hobbled off with a calf problem in the final ten minutes.

Winger Paul Parry and full-back Kevin McNaughton were also forced off with injury concerns for a Cardiff side already without Ross McCormack, Joe Ledley, Jay Bothroyd, Tony Capaldi and Peter Whittingham.


Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock:
"Our display in the first 45 minutes was much improved and we created a lot of chance. This win will give us great confidence.

"We've been leading teams before and let the opposition back in and I feared we'd do that again today but we rolled our sleeves up and hung on."

Cardiff City manager Dave Jones:
"Everything went wrong for us from start to finish, it was probably the worst I've seen us play in the three years I've been Cardiff manager.

"Defensively we were all over the shop and we could not pass from back to front and we've crammed all of our bad things into 90 minutes.

"We've not performed to our capabilities today and we've gifted them goals.

"I can't remember the last team to score a quality goal against us and when you're in that rut it's hard to get out of it."


Plymouth: Larrieu, Doumbe, Cathcart, Seip, Barker, Summerfield, Duguid (Folly 16), Clark, Gallagher (Mackie 77), Fallon, Mpenza (MacLean 75).
Subs Not Used: Noone, Paterson.

Booked: Summerfield.

Goals: Mpenza 39, Gallagher 41.

Cardiff: Heaton (Enckelman 83), McNaughton (Blake 46), Purse, Roger Johnson, Kennedy, Routledge, Rae, McPhail, Parry (Comminges 73), Eddie Johnson, Chopra.
Subs Not Used: Gyepes, Scimeca.

Booked: Rae.

Goals: Chopra 62.

Att: 11,438

Referee: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire)



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