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Half-Time Report: West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City (4-0 on agg.)

Half-Time Report: West Ham 2-0 Cardiff (4-0 on agg.)
© PA Photos
Goals from Kevin Nolan and Ricardo Vaz Te during the opening 45 minutes edge West Ham United closer to Wembley at the expense of Cardiff City.

West Ham United have taken a big step to sealing their place in the final of the Championship playoffs.

The Hammers are currently beating Cardiff City 2-0 at Upton Park, meaning that they lead the tie 4-0 on aggregate.

Despite the scoreline it was visiting Cardiff that had the first meaningful attack in the opening exchanges. Kenny Miller raced into the West Ham box and went down under a challenge from Winston Reid. However, the referee dismissed the Scottish striker's appeals for a penalty.

West Ham played their way into the encounter and went on to break the deadlock in the 15th minute. Cardiff failed to clear a Matt Taylor corner and captain Kevin Nolan was on hand to nod the ball over the line from close range.

Gary O'Neill almost doubled West Ham's advantage moments later, but his looping effort struck the crossbar.

The same player went close again ten minutes before the break when his curling effort from the edge of the area forced visiting goalkeeper David Marshall into a diving save.

West Ham's pressure finally told in the 40th minute courtesy of Ricardo Vaz Te, who evaded his marker before firing the ball past Marshall from a narrow angle.

You can find out how the opening 45 minutes unfolded by following Sports Mole's live commentary.

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