Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Hernandez double salvages City late point

4 August 2018

Onel Hernandez's late double secured Norwich City a point in a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City at St. Andrew's.

A tight first-half was kicked into life minutes into the second as Jacques Maghoma lashed home.

Hernandez equalised on 83 minutes and looked to have earned a point for City but Viv Solomon-Otabor scored six minutes later to break Canary hearts.

However, Hernandez popped up in the area again in stoppage time to coolly finish and send the away support into raptures.

Daniel Farke handed full debuts to Tim Krul, Ben Marshall, Teemu Pukki and Jordan Rhodes as City lined-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The reliable duo of Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull started in holding midfield with Marco Stiepermann to the right and Hernandez to the left of Pukki in the number ten position. Rhodes started as the lone striker with a back four of Marshall, Grant Hanley, Timm Klose and James Husband.

In baking hot conditions in the west Midlands, the first-half saw plenty of chances for both teams. City swarmed forward in the opening couple of minutes and Stiepermann was tripped just outside the penalty area but the referee waved appeals away. On the counter, Craig Gardner tested Krul with a low strike.

City’s best chance of the first-half came on eight minutes. Marshall picked out Rhodes in the penalty area and the new City striker forced Blues keeper Connal Trueman into a superb, fingertip stop. The following corner was met by Klose but Trueman ‘s save, on this occasion, was much more routine.

The Canaries then went close again ten minutes later after a flowing move. Hanley fizzed the ball into Stiepermann who guided it onto Hernandez but his half-volley from just inside the box was straight at Trueman.

Birmingham grew as the half progressed and Jacques Maghoma fired straight at Krul on 22 minutes before, ten minutes later, he produced a carbon copy which the City stopper was equal to once again.

Lukas Jutkiewicz had the host’s best chance of the first-half following Che Adams’ cross but he could only flash the ball low and wide of goal on 31 minutes.

Birmingham began the second-half on the front foot and went close within moments of the restart. Jota cut in from the right on 50 minutes and shot straight  at Krul before the same player combined with Adams in the area but last ditch defending prevented the Blues.

Minutes later, Birmingham eventually went ahead. A corner was cleared and fell kindly for Maghoma – his initial shot was blocked but he made no mistake with the second attempt, rifling the ball in off the crossbar.

City were much improved after going behind, partly down to the introduction of Moritz Leitner and Kenny McLean. The latter was involved down the left on 66 minutes following link-up play with Hernandez but his strike was blocked and eventually safe with Trueman.

Four minutes later, a move was fashioned down the other flank with Marshall, Pukki and Leitner all involved. It was Marshall who got the shot away but his strike was well wide of goal.

City were left scratching their heads when Rhodes’ header on 83 minutes from point blank range was kept out by Trueman but they didn’t have to wait too much longer for an equaliser. Hernandez was found on the right and cut in before finding the bottom corner.

Late drama then ensued. Solomon-Otabor looked to have cruelly won it for Birmingham on 89 minutes with a cool finish but Hernandez had the last word.

Final substitute Dennis Srbeny broke forward superbly and found Hernandez who slotted under Trueman to grab City a dramatic point.


Advertisement block