Mutch late show sinks Fulham
Jordan Mutch (Getty Images)
London - Cardiff midfielder Jordan Mutch has piled the pressure on Fulham manager Martin Jol as his late strike clinched a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
WRAP: English Premiership
Mutch came off the bench to bag the winner after Fulham's Bryan Ruiz had cancelled out Steven Caulker's first half opener for the visitors.
Cries of "Jol out" echoed around the stadium as Fulham's Dutch manager trudged off the pitch as full-time and the west Londoners remain marooned in the relegation zone after their fourth defeat in six Premier League matches this season.
The Cottagers haven't won at home in the league since April and Fulham's new owner Shahid Khan will come under increasing pressure to make a managerial change if the team's woeful form continues much longer.
Cardiff's second league win since clinching promotion from the Championship last season lifted Malky Mackay's team into mid-table.
Fulham were forced into an early change when England midfielder Scott Parker limped off, with Giorgos Karagounis on in his place.
The blow suffered by Parker's departure was exacerbated when Fulham fell behind from a Peter Whittingham corner, which Caulker headed in unopposed eight yards out in the 12th minute.
Another Whittingham set-piece highlighted more deficiencies in the Fulham defence when Ben Turner lost Brede Hangeland to head towards goal. Fortunately for the Fulham captain, David Stockdale was equal to it.
Caulker had the ball in the net for a second time, but the strike was ruled out for a push on Stockdale.
Karagounis tested Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall from the edge of the area before Jol made his second change before the interval, sending on Ruiz for Alex Kacaniklic.
The gamble paid off in the 45th minute when Ruiz collected a pass infield from Pajtim Kasami and picked his spot with a curling effort into the top corner.
Ruiz celebrated by running to the bench to high-five the beleaguered Jol.
Mutch replaced Kim Bo-kyung in the 56th minute and had an immediate impact, playing through Fraizer Campbell who fluffed the opportunity.
Dimitar Berbatov had a good chance to put Fulham ahead, the Bulgarian striker meeting Sascha Riether's cross outside the far post but unable to find the target.
But the last word went to Mutch in the second minute of stoppage-time as he chased down a long ball, got a fortunate break off Kieran Richardson and curled his shot into the top corner to leave Jol stunned.