Early goals seal Cardiff win
Bluebirds easily beat Wolves 2-0
By Steve Pass. Last Updated: 16/02/08 5:14pm
Hasselbaink: Scored second
Cardiff reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 1927 following a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Wolves at Ninian Park on Saturday.
Peter Whittingham put the Bluebirds in front within 90 seconds after being played through by a fine Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink touch and he stroked the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
Hasselbaink then doubled Cardiff's lead on 11 minutes with a fine curling effort into the top right corner after Whittingham had laid the ball back to him and he dummied a defender.
Wolves enjoyed plenty of possession throughout the game but could not get past stout Cardiff defending.
Goal difference alone may separate the two sides in the Championship, but there was a marked gulf in class between them right from the whistle.
One nervous touch from Kevin Foley within the opening seconds set the tone and soon the home side went ahead.
Wanderers' defence was punished for playing too high a line as they were caught flat-footed by Hasselbaink's clever through ball from the half-way line.
The unmarked Whittingham strolled through the middle and calmly stroked home.
And nine minutes later those defensive deficiencies were highlighted again as City doubled the advantage.
Jody Craddock and Gary Breen were left exposed as Paul Parry found Whittingham at the back post and he cut back for Hasselbaink to fire exquisitely into the top-left corner.
Parry almost made it three soon after when his arcing shot flew narrowly over the crossbar, while teenage midfielder Aaron Ramsey looked set to pounce when Wolver keeper Wayne Hennessey spilled a shot from long range.
Kevin Kyle threatened in a rare Wolves attack but his header was over the crossbar.
The visitors, who last reached the quarter-finals five years ago when Cardiff boss Dave Jones was in charge, began brightly after the break and it took Roger Johnson's clearance off the line to prevent them halving the deficit.
However, their back four continued to look vulnerable and twice in quick succession Hennessey had to be out quickly to deny Parry.
Wolves enjoyed far more possession in the second period with the home side content to soak up the pressure and strike on the counter.
Hennessey still remained the busier of the two goalkeepers though and he had to be down quickly to deny Whittingham a second.
Man-of-the-match Hasselbaink was replaced to a standing ovation with 12 minutes left.
A similar reception was given to substitute Trevor Sinclair as he made his long-awaited return shortly before the final whistle as City were left to dream about further cup success.