Hull City ended Cardiff’s unbeaten start to the Championship season with this win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Mohamed Diame, making just his sixth appearance since December, grabbed the opener in the eighth minute.
Abel Hernandez then sealed the win with 10 minutes to go, controlling Diame’s lovely pass to fire low into the net to give the visitors their first away win of the campaign.
Cardiff had chances to level through Kenwyne Jones and Kagisho Dikgacoi, but were left frustrated as they had a trio of penalty appeals turned down.
The Bluebirds started brightly and nearly took a fifth-minute lead. Joe Mason found Dikgacoi’s run but the striker could not turn in the South African’s lobbed cross at the far post.
Instead it was the visitors who took the lead in the eighth minute. Sone Aluko easily turned away from Sean Morrison and, when the forward’s cross was only half-cleared, Diame followed up to smash home from 12 yards.
The goal stymied Cardiff’s early momentum but they began to find their feet, with Jones looking purposeful as the powerful striker ran on to Matt Connolly’s pass to fire straight at Allan McGregor.
The chance sparked a period of Cardiff pressure and the home side felt they had two strong penalty appeals turned away inside five minutes. On the half-hour Joe Mason went to ground as Tom Huddlestone appeared to grab his shirt and, in the 35th minute, Aluko raised his foot high as he cleared under pressure from Joe Ralls in his own area.
Cardiff continued to press after the break. Dikgacoi headed Peter Whittingham’s corner over the bar before Michael Dawson survived a penalty appeal for handball.
While Cardiff pushed on they remained vulnerable to the probing of the excellent Aluko, and they were picked off when the forward broke and Diame played in Hernandez to secure the three points.
Cardiff: Marshall, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly (Ecuele Manga 46), Da Silva, Pilkington (Ameobi 63), Dikgacoi, Whittingham, Ralls (Noone 78), Jones, Mason. Unused substitutes: Gunnarsson, Revell, Moore, Malone.
Hull: McGregor, Dawson, Bruce, Davies, Odubajo, Huddlestone, Clucas, Robertson (Elmohamady 69), Diame, Aluko (Meyler 84), Hernandez (Akpom 81). Unused substitutes: Taylor, Jakupovic, Hayden, Luer.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffs).