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Missed chances prove costly as Swans suffer first Championship defeat – WalesOnline

Missed chances prove costly as Swans suffer first Championship defeat – WalesOnline

Swansea City suffered their first Championship defeat of the 2020/21 campaign as they were beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield Town.

The hosts created plenty of chances but fell behind to Harry Toffolo’s first half strike.

Swansea equalised through Andre Ayew who netted his second goal of the campaign from the penalty spot.

But Josh Koroma’s second half strike proved enough for Yorkshire outfit as the Swans were left to rue their missed opportunities at the Liberty Stadium.

After what was a manic transfer deadline day, Steve Cooper made three changes from the 2-1 win over Millwall prior to the international break.

Freddie Woodman replaced Steven Benda in goal after recovering from illness while Kyle Naughton made his first league start of the campaign in place of Joe Rodon following his transfer to Tottenham.

The other alteration saw Viktor Gyokeres make his first start for Swansea, with the Brighton loanee coming in for Morgan Gibbs-White who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a foot injury.

Ayew chalked up his 100th appearance for Swansea while deadline day signing Kasey Palmer was listed among the substitutes as the Swans looked to maintain their impressive start to the 2020/21 season.

The hosts started on the front foot, with Jamal Lowe and Marc Guehi both having efforts palmed away by Ben Hamer in the early stages.

Ayew almost capitalised on a sloppy back pass from Naby Sarr to bag the opener on 11 minutes, although Huddersfield goalkeeper Hamer was just about alert to the danger as the home side continued to carry the greater threat.

And they had an even greater opportunity to bulge the net moments later as Korey Smith found Lowe, but the attacker’s shot was superbly saved by Hamer.

Harry Toffolo of Huddersfield Town celebrates scoring
(Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)

But after being on top, Swansea switched off at the back and fell behind from a corner routine midway through the opening half as Juninho Bacuna’s shot took a slight nick off Toffolo to leave Woodman wrong footed and, crucially, the hosts a goal down.

It was a cruel blow for Swansea who, to their credit, responded well and could have equalised as Gyokeres squared to Lowe, although Christopher Schindler cut out the pass in the nick of time for the Terriers.

However, they were on level terms 10 minutes after going behind as Smith was brought down by Hamer in the box, and Ayew expertly converted from the penalty spot to notch what was his 32nd goal for the club goal on his landmark outing.

Swansea’s front three continued to look dangerous while Ben Cabango made an important block to thwart Bacuna at the other end as the score remained level at the break.

Carlos Corberan’s side carried more of a threat after the restart and saw Isaac Mbenza fire a low shot wide.

The Belgian then went even closer as his curling effort struck the post before goalscorer Toffolo fired wide from around 10 yards out as the visitors grew in confidence.

However, Swansea responded well and should have gone ahead through Ayew, although he headed Matt Grimes’ free-kick wide with the goal at his mercy.

Lowe was then denied by Hamer before firing the follow-up effort over as Cooper sent on Palmer for Gyokeres, with Fraizer Campbell replacing Mbenza for the Terriers.

And Swansea were punished for failing to take those chances as Koroma drilled a low shot into the bottom corner of Woodman’s goal to restore his side’s lead midway through the second half.

Palmer caused problems as Swansea looked to level the game, with the Bristol City loanee firing a free-kick just wide from 20 yards out before Liam Cullen and Jordon Garrick replaced Lowe and Naughton respectively with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Jake Bidwell had a golden opportunity to score late on, although his effort sailed wide as Swansea’s unbeaten league run this season came to an end ahead of their away clash with Coventry City on Tuesday night.

A frustrated Andre Ayew
(Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)

Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton (Garrick 81), Cabango, Guehi; Roberts, Smith, Grimes (C), Bidwell; Ayew, Lowe (Cullen 81), Gyokeres (Palmer 62).

Subs not used: Benda, Evans, Fulton, Dhanda.

Yellow cards: Bidwell 45+3

Goal: Ayew 33

Huddersfield Town: Hamer; Stearman, Schindler (C), Sarr; Pipa, Hogg, Eiting (Duhaney 85), Toffolo; Mbenza (Campbell 62), Koroma, Bacuna (O’Brien 72).

Subs not used: Chapman, Crichlow, Pritchard, Diakhaby.

Yellow cards: Bacuna 17, Mbenza 45+3, Stearman 60

Goals: Toffolo 23, Koroma 67

Referee: Tony Harrington

You can re-live the match updates from the game below:

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