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Ozan Tufan on target as Hull reach play-off places with win against Cardiff

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Dec 2023

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Hull moved back into the Sky Bet Championship play-off places with a convincing 3-0 victory at home to Cardiff.

Aaron Connolly’s 32nd-minute tap-in – his sixth goal of the season – sent the hosts on their way towards an utterly deserved victory.

Scott Twine’s lovely free-kick in the second half essentially put the match to bed, so poor were Cardiff from the outset.

Ozan Tufan’s artful lob three minutes later added further sheen to the scoreline as the visitors crumbled to a bruising defeat at the MKM Stadium.

Erol Brulet’s men can have few complaints. Hull were far superior in every department and look good value for a profitable Christmas on this evidence.

Indeed the hosts, suitably inspired by victory at Middlesbrough on Wednesday, came close to opening the scoring after just three minutes.

Mark McGuinness made a hash of goalkeeper Ryan Allsop’s long ball, from which Connolly seized control.

His first touch gave him momentum to skip past Jak Alnwick, but Dimi Goutas rescued his side with a late block off the Republic of Ireland international’s goalbound effort.

Passive Cardiff nearly conceded four minutes later when Twine’s free-kick – a sighter of what was to come in the second half – arrowed inches wide of the top-right corner.

Liam Delap then tried his luck from the left angle of the penalty area, but Alnwick was alert to the danger at his near post.

Cardiff fleetingly awoke form their torpor with a solid spell of possession, during which Rubin Colwill should have done better off Yakou Meite’s right-flank cross.

But Hull continued to probe, and scored the goal their first-half endeavours warranted when Delap charged into the box from the right.

The Manchester City loan signing battered a low cross towards the back post at which Connolly could not miss.

Cardiff supporters expecting a response after the interval will have been disappointed.

Hull continued to press in good areas of the pitch, with Delap a tireless presence and Connolly a nuisance through the lines.

The latter earned the free-kick that led to the Tigers’ second goal when he was upended on the edge of the area.

Twine has been criticised by the locals for his set-pieces this season, but this time beautifully arched the ball into the top corner from the left of the D.

Cardiff were arguably beaten long before then, but a home win was rubber-stamped when Tufan chased down Tyler Morton’s precise, whipped pass from deep.

With Alnwick out of position, the Turkey international controlled well before craftily flighting the ball over the goalkeeper’s head.

Substitute Kion Etete at least gave away fans a hint of optimism with a nice hit from distance that was well saved by Allsop after 76 minutes.

But that was as good as it for Brulet’s side, who will be left with much to consider on the long journey back to Wales.

As will Rosenior, for entirely different reasons.

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