Doncaster 1-3 Cardiff

Jason Koumas celebrates a goal
Jason Koumas celebrates his first goals since the first game of last season

Super substitute Jason Koumas fired two late goals to earn Cardiff City a vital win in their Premier League promotion push at Doncaster Rovers.

Koumas had been on the pitch three minutes when he rescued Cardiff with with a stunning 25-yard free-kick.

Koumas then added his second of the game, and second this season after Craig Bellamy's delicate pass.

Chris Burke had slid Cardiff into an early lead before James Coppinger thought he had saved Doncaster a point.

But the Koumas late, late show and a little magic from the mercurial former Welsh international won the three points for Cardiff with two superb goals as the third-placed Cardiff enhanced their Championship promotion bid to move just a point behind second-placed Norwich City.

Koumas replaced Burke, the opening goal-scorer in the first-half, in the 86th minute and with virtually his first touch of the game he whipped a free-kick over the wall and past helpless Doncaster keeper Gary Woods to snatch victory in the final minute of normal time.

The on-loan Wigan Athletic midfielder had been beset by illness and injury since arriving at the Cardiff City Stadium but showed his undoubted technical ability with a free-kick of the highest quality.

Koumas then sealed the victory four minutes into added time when the 31-year-old completed a slick Cardiff move following Bellamy's incisive pass.

Coppinger went close for struggling Doncaster early on before Franck Moussa forced a good reaction save from Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton before Burke nudged the visitors ahead with their first attack.

Jay Bothroyd ran at the Rovers defence before back-heeling the ball into the path of Scottish winger and the in-form Burke kept his composure to hit a low shot under the body of Woods for his third goal in as many starts.

Simon Gillett was presented with a great opportunity to level when clean through but was denied by Heaton while Moussa enjoyed another couple of half chances but Doncaster's lack of cutting edge proved their downfall despite a promising first-half.

Woods produced a great save to stop Cardiff winger Peter Whittingham before Heaton was again called upon to deny Coppinger.

But Coppinger was not to be denied as the Rovers midfielder was alert to convert a rebound off Heaton after George Friend's initial shot was saved.

Doncaster's deserved leveller was their first goal for almost six hours of football and Sean O'Driscoll's side were eyeing their first win since 1 February.

But Rovers were left to rue missed chances and their defensive frailties late in games as Koumas' late double was the 12th and 13th goals Doncaster have conceded in the final five minutes of fixtures this season.

And The Bluebirds earned their unparalleled ninth Championship away win of the season with the match-winning quality when not at their best that makes Cardiff such a threat.

It was a cometh the hour moment for Cardiff fans favourite Koumas, who scored 13 goals in a player-of-the-year season in a first loan spell at Cardiff in the 2005/06 season, in the final minute at The Keepmoat Stadium with a sensational free-kick after Matthew Kilgallon fouled Bothroyd.

Then after scoring his first goal since the opening game of last season, Koumas added another inside four minutes to earn Cardiff their first victory at Doncaster since 1992 to leave O'Driscoll's men seven points from the Championship drop-zone.

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