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Ninian Park (ATT 18,032) 23rd August 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Taylor

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Norwich City Norwich


Lupoli to Canaries' rescue

Italian's brace earns point after McCormack double

Last Updated: 23/08/08 5:54pm

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Lupoli: Double for Norwich

Lupoli: Double for Norwich

Substitute Arturu Lupoli poached a late brace to secure Norwich City a 2-2 draw at Cardiff City.

Dave Jones' Cardiff appeared to be cruising towards the three points after Ross McCormack followed up his early opener by converting a second-half penalty.

But Italian striker Lupoli pulled one back within four minutes of being introduced and then grabbed an equaliser with nine minutes remaining.

Midfielder Darel Russell - Norwich's sole goalscorer this season before kick-off - started up front to add some physical presence but it was the Bluebirds who took the lead after just three minutes.

Darcy Blake played an incisive ball down the right for former Wolves striker Jay Bothroyd, who cut the ball sharply back to McCormack.

He turned Dejan Stefanovic on the penalty spot before calmly slotting a left-footed strike wide of David Marshall and into the back of the net.

Terrible start

It was a terrible start by Norwich but they were handed a golden chance to equalise just five minutes later when Joe Ledley was adjudged to have fouled midfielder Matty Pattison inside the box.

Cureton stepped up but rolled his spot-kick wide of Tom Heaton's right-hand post.

Pattison then forced a decent stop from the England Under 21 goalkeeper with a low shot before McCormack stung the palms of Marshall from the edge of the area.

Ledley should have extended the hosts' lead when a set-piece found its way through to him at the far post but he mis-hit his shot and saw it creep wide from four yards.

Early in the second half Roger Johnson looped a header just wide from a McCormack free-kick, and Pattison then drilled a shot wide before McCormack doubled the lead with a 67th-minute penalty.

The striker burst into the box and was felled by on-loan Celtic defender John Kennedy. He stepped up and confidently drove the ball home from 12 yards.

Lupoli was brought on with 17 minutes remaining and took just four minutes to reduce the deficit.

A corner was only half cleared and, when Lee Croft drove the ball back into the area, the former Arsenal youngster was perfectly placed to stab in from a suspiciously offside position.

And the diminutive striker was at it again in the 81st minute when another excellent cross from Croft was headed across Heaton to claim a point.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 45 88
2 Bournemouth 44 84
3 Middlesbrough 45 84
4 Norwich City 45 83
5 Ipswich Town 45 78
6 Derby County 45 77
7 Brentford 45 75
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 45 75
9 Blackburn Rovers 45 64
10 Charlton Athletic 45 60
11 Birmingham City 45 60
12 Nottingham Forest 45 59
13 Cardiff City 45 59
14 Sheffield Wednesday 45 59
15 Leeds United 45 55
16 Huddersfield Town 45 54
17 Fulham 45 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 44 51
19 Reading 44 47
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 45 46
21 Rotherham United 44 42
22 Millwall 45 41
23 Wigan Athletic 45 39
24 Blackpool 45 25