Young Ryan Sessegnon earns Fulham victory at Cardiff
Sixteen-year-old becomes one of youngest goalscorers in FA Cup history
Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon scores his side’s winner against Cardiff City at Cardiff City Stadium. Photograph: John Sibley Livepic
Cardiff 1 Fulham 2
Ryan Sessegnon became one of the youngest goalscorers in FA Cup history with the winner in Fulham’s 2-1 victory at Cardiff.
The 16-year-old tapped home from close range as Fulham came from behind to win, with Stefan Johansen having cancelled out Anthony Pilkington’s deflected free kick.
It was the second time Cardiff had witnessed the promise of the England Under-17 international – who was born in May 2000 – as Sessegnon scored his first senior goal against them in August.
On that occasion Sessegnon became the youngest scorer in both Championship and Fulham history at the tender age of 16 years and 94 days.
Five months on and Sessegnon showed his predatory instincts once more, even if Barrow’s Sean Cato remains the youngest FA Cup goalscorer at the age of 16 years and 25 days.
That stroke of ill-fortune might have deflated some, but Fulham dominated the first period to such an extent that they enjoyed 76 per cent possession.
Parity was restored within six minutes when Ryan Fredericks beat Joe Bennett to reach the by-line, and his cross was sent into the roof of the net as Johansen marked his 26th birthday in style.
Joe Ralls forced a fine one-handed stop from Bettinelli, but it was a rare home excursion as Fulham probed down both flanks and regularly had Cardiff at full stretch.
Full-back Fredericks was a constant attacking outlet down the right and he left Bennett trailing to deliver a 33rd-minute cross which this time Tom Cairney met.
Cairney fired his shot against the crossbar but Sessegnon was unmarked to touch home the rebound for his third senior goal.
Fulham continued to dominate possession in the second half, even if scoring opportunities were rare.
The visitors had a rare fright when Bettinelli had to move sharply to hold on to Emyr Huws’ stinging drive.
Piazon had two chances to put the tie out of Cardiff’s reach, first sending his shot straight at Brian Murphy from 12 yards before firing over the angle of post and crossbar.
Murphy also made a full-length stop to deny Sone Aluko in the closing stages, but Fulham comfortably saw through a job well done.