Omar Bogle reminded Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock what he has to offer by scoring a stunning goal in North America.
The Bluebirds were 1-0 down against New Mexico United when Bogle whipped a free-kick into the top corner.Former Wigan Athletic forward Bogle, aged 26, is a powerful, 6ft 2ins striker who is more than capable of making an impact for City during the 2018-19 Championship season.
He has scored three goals in 10 first team appearances, but hasn’t played for Warnock’s team since December 2017 and had loan spells with Birmingham City and Portsmouth last season.
Bogle, a £1m signing from Wigan, is under contract until next summer and, with Kenneth Zohore completing an £8m to West Brom, could get his chance in attack.
Warnock started with captain Sean Morrison and under-23 squad defender Ciaron Brown linking up in the centre-half pairing. Former Wealdstone player Brown impressed before being replaced by Cameron Coxe after 70 minutes.
New signing Curtis Nelson played for the last 30 minutes and Warnock said: “Sean and Ciaron did well, while Curtis looked composed.
“You don’t realise how much difference altitude makes. The lads were saying it was difficult taking a breath, particularly with the amount of running we did.
“We hit posts a couple, missed good chances and we just work on finishing. The pitch was good and the atmosphere excellent.
City’s second match of their North American tour, following a 1-0 win against San Antonio, was played in the Albuquerque heat and altitude with more than 6,000 spectators watching.
Warnock used 18 players with goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Lee Peltier, Morrison and Nathanial Mendez-Laing completing 90 minutes.
New Mexico went ahead after three minutes when Japanese midfield player Ken Akamatsu scored with a left-footed finish to give the hosts a third-minute lead.
Josh Murphy and Bobby DeCordova-Reid were prominent for Cardiff in their attempts to create an equaliser, Joe Bennett’s low cross flashed across the New Mexico goalmouth.
The Bluebirds continued to press in the opening period, as De Cordova-Reid was denied by a sensational stop by American ‘keeper Ben Beaury.
Mendez-Laing saw a wicked delivery from the left turned against a post by Murphy before Joe Ralls almost found the bottom corner from long range.
City’s first opportunity of the second period came when Will Vaulks’ cross was almost turned home at the back stick by newly introduced substitute Bogle.The equaliser came on the hour when Bogle fired home from a free-kick, while the same player then saw another effort ricochet off the ‘keeper and against the left-hand post.
Cardiff almost snatched a winner when James Waite threaded a pass which freed Greg Cunningham down the left and his cross looked to certain to be headed home by Curtis Nelson. Home defenders put their bodies on the line, though, and deflected the ball onto the crossbar.
The third and final pre-season test for City is against Real Valladolid in Edmonton, Canada.
Canadian winger Junior Hoilett has joined Bluebirds players in Edmonton and could make his first appearance of pre-season against Spanish club Real Valladolid.
Hoilett and Leandro Bacuno, who plays international football for Curacao, were both given an extra break because they played in the Concacaf Gold Cup during June and July.
“Junior has linked up with us, while Leandro is back training in the UK,” said manager Neil Warnock.
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Brown (Coxe 70), Bennett (Cunningham 60), Vaulks (Waite 75), Ralls (Nelson 59), De Cordova-Reid (Damour 59), Mendez-Laing, Murphy (Bolger 70), Ward (Bogle 52).