Fulham crept closer to the Championship play-off positions after an entertaining draw with Cardiff City.
Stefan Johansen scored a classical counter-attacking goal to put Slavisa Jokanovic’s side in front but Kenneth Zohore exposed Fulham’s frailties in defence by grabbing an equaliser before half-time. Zohore than lashed home a half-volley to put the Bluebirds ahead, but a deflected drive from in-form Neeskens Kebano ensured that Fulham headed back to London with a share of the spoils.
The Whites are still in seventh – five points off the play-off places – and this was a very different game to the FA Cup tie between the two sides in January where Fulham easily outmanoeuvred a much-changed Cardiff side. Neil Warnock’s men began brightly, driving in shots from distance, in a strong start that initially unsettled Jokanovic’s outfit. But Fulham regained their composure and, with pace in the forward areas, they always posed a threat on the break.
It was no surprise that a counter attack proved to be the catalyst for their opener. Having easily dealt with a Cardiff free kick, Fulham exploited the fact that the home side had sent their centre backs forward. Tom Cairney released Johansen through on goal and the Norwegian midfielder made no mistake with an assured finish. But the lead lasted for just seven minutes as slack defending allowed Zohore to guide a simple finish past a stranded Button and when the tall forward fired home his fourth goal in two games – an emphatic left-footed volley – it looked as if Warnock’s side might claim all three points.
But Fulham salvaged a point midway through the second half when Kebano raced onto a clever through ball from Johansen with his shot completing wrongfooting Allan McGregor after it struck the unfortunate Sol Bamba.
CARDIFF CITY (4-4-2): McGregor; Richards, Connolly, Morrison, Bamba; Gunnarsson, Rails, K. Harris, Noone (John 86); Zohore, Hoilett. Subs (not used): Murphy, Halford, M. Harris, Bennett, Whittingham, Pilkington.
BOOKED: Zohore, Gunnarsson.
GOALS: Zohore (24, 56).
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Button; Fredericks, Malone, Kalas, Ream; McDonald, Johansen; Aluko, Piazon (Kebano 25), Cairney; Ayite (Cyriac 65). Subs (not used): Bettinelli, Odoi, Madl, R. Sessegnon, Adeniran.
GOALS: Johansen (17), Kebano (68).
REFEREE: Scott Duncan (Tyne and Wear).