Mick McCarthy’s unbeaten start as Cardiff City manager continued as his 1,000th game in management ended in a goalless draw at Huddersfield Town.
Terriers striker Yaya Sanogo blew the best opportunity of a forgettable match when he missed a second-half penalty.
The ex-Arsenal forward’s miss means the Bluebirds are yet to lose in 11 games since McCarthy took charge in January.
This point lifts Cardiff to seventh in the table, while struggling Huddersfield climb a place to 18th.
A first clean sheet in 16 games was a big plus for Huddersfield, though boss Carlos Corberan will feel his team ought to have claimed three points rather than one.
Cardiff’s turnaround under McCarthy has been spectacular and, while they were not at their best, they maintain momentum after 11 games without defeat.
A return of 24 points from McCarthy’s first 10 fixtures saw him land a two-year contract extension earlier this week.
While Cardiff have flourished in recent times, Huddersfield’s form has been miserable, with just one victory in 13 games since the turn of the year.
Corberan’s team have conceded more goals than every Championship club bar Wycombe this season, and they wobbled inside two minutes here as Ryan Schofield did well to deny Sean Morrison.
Huddersfield took charge of possession after the early scare, though their only effort of note in the first half was a Juninho Bacuna free-kick which Dillon Phillips pushed to safety.
Cardiff had more menace despite having less of the ball, with Will Vaulks’ fierce volley forcing a sharp save from Schofield.
The visitors’ cause was not helped by the loss of Joel Bagan to a shoulder injury, particularly as the youngster was only starting after regular left-wingback Joe Bennett was ruled out for the season earlier this week.
Bacuna was fortunate to escape a card when he reacted to a late Aden Flint challenge by raising a hand to the Cardiff defender’s face, with referee Tim Robinson deciding no action was needed against either player.
Chances were scarce early in the second half, although Richard Keogh got to Bacuna’s free-kick first only to head wide as he stretched to make contact.
The contest’s big moment came 16 minutes from time, when Aaron Rowe saw an initial shot blocked before being tripped by Curtis Nelson as he collected the rebound.
But Sanogo, who was making his first Huddersfield start, made a mess of the spot-kick which followed, dragging his effort a yard wide.
It was Huddersfield’s third penalty miss from three attempts this season while remarkably, Cardiff have not conceded any of the four awarded against them in 2020-21.
Cardiff offered little going forward in the second half as they failed to score for the first time under McCarthy.
It was Huddersfield who almost made amends for Sanogo’s miss late on, but Pipa saw an effort smartly saved by Phillips before Fraizer Campbell flashed a half-volley over the bar when he looked favourite to score.
Huddersfield head coach Carlos Corberan:
“We knew we were going up against an opponent that didn’t lose in the last 10 games. They arrived here with a good dynamic of results.
“We knew that we had to play with a lot of character, with a lot of mentality and a competitive mind.
“I am proud of the mentality of the players, I am proud of the character that they played with, I am proud about how they competed.
“But at the same time, I’m totally disappointed because one point when we were feeling we could get something else is not enough.”
Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy:
“A really tough game. We haven’t played particularly well in it, although we have been really solid.
“They have had a tough schedule as well but we got done I think with the Wednesday-Saturday and Tuesday-Friday, with our energy levels I guess.
“We have had to scrap it out, but if you cant win it, don’t get beat. We’ve ended up with a good point.”