John Swift added Reading’s third in the 83rd minute
Last Updated: 18/08/19 2:42pm
George Puscas scored twice on his full Sky Bet Championship debut to fire Reading to their first league win of the season with a 3-0 victory over Cardiff.
Puscas, who signed from Serie A side Inter Milan in the summer, opened his Championship account with a fine solo goal in the 25th minute before turning in John Swift’s cross to double his side’s advantage before the break.
Swift then sealed Reading’s win in the 83rd minute with a breakaway goal, and it could have got even worse for Cardiff had Alex Smithies not saved Yakou Meite’s late penalty.
How Puscas inspired Reading
Reading went into the game bottom of the table, and the only Championship side without a point after two rounds of matches.
The match was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of Thames Valley police officer Andrew Harper, who was killed in an incident while on duty on Thursday evening.
Reading threatened first when Puscas shot across the face of goal from a promising position. Joe Ralls then tested Royals goalkeeper Rafael, making his home debut, with a powerful 20-yard shot.
Puscas continued to look dangerous and was rewarded with a superb goal – his second for the club – in the 25th minute. He set off on a mazy run from near the halfway line, skipped past Will Vaulks and cut in before curling a left-foot shot past goalkeeper Smithies.
Cardiff looked rattled and were breached again five minutes before the break. Swift crossed from the right and Puscas, racing in at the near post, poked the ball past Smithies.
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock gambled at the break, bringing on substitutes Callum Paterson and Isaac Vassell. Warnock had already used a replacement, Curtis Nelson, in the first half.
But it did little to improve Cardiff’s attacking ideas, with Reading continuing to look the more composed going forward.
Omar Richards appeared to have set up Puscas for his hat-trick on the edge of the area, but the Romania international was crowded out at the last moment.
Cardiff’s fate was eventually sealed in the 83rd minute when Swift broke away on the right to beat Smithies with an angled shot.
And they were indebted to Smithies in stoppage time, when he saved a Meite penalty after Sean Morrison had brought down Andy Yiadom.