Liverpool defeats Cardiff in League Cup final

February 26, 2012 - 5:16 PM
Britain Soccer League Cup Final

Cardiff City's Joe Mason, left, celebrates his goal against Liverpool with teammate Kenny Miller during their English League Cup final soccer match at Wembley Stadium, London, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

WEMBLEY, England (AP) — Liverpool's six-year trophy drought ended Sunday with a 3-2 victory over second-tier Cardiff 3-2 in a penalty-kick shootout in the League Cup final. Anthony Gerrard, the cousin of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, missed the final kick.

Liverpool's record eighth League Cup is Kenny Dalglish's first trophy since returning to Liverpool 13 months ago after a 20-year absence.

The match at Wembley Stadium was 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 after extra time, with Cardiff's Ben Turner scrambling the ball over the line in the 118th minute from a corner kick to force the shootout.

Liverpool, the 18-time English champions, had to fight back after Joe Mason gave Cardiff the lead in the 19th minute, with Martin Skrtel making it 1-1 in the 60th minute.

Liverpool took until the 108th minute to go in front, with Dirk Kuyt smashing in the rebound after his initial effort was blocked by Anthony Gerrard. Despite Kuyt making an initial goal-line clearance from Filip Kiss, the Netherlands international couldn't prevent Turner from tying the score.

"This is what I came to Liverpool for, and to win a first trophy is excellent. Hopefully we can add another later in the season," Kuyt said, referring to the FA Cup.

While Dalglish won the competition four times as a player, this was his first triumph as manager. He joins Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho as the only winners of English soccer's three domestic prizes.

Cardiff has visited Wembley four times in the past five seasons, but the venue has been demolished and rebuilt in the 16 years it has taken for Liverpool to return to England's national stadium, an eternity for a club that dominated English soccer throughout the 1980s.

Cardiff has been without a major title for 85 years.

"In extra time, the way we came back. ... I'm so proud of them. So very, very proud of them," Cardiff manager Malky Mackay said. "For most of them it's the first time they've been anywhere near something like this. They are very young. The emotions are running through them."