Reading’s play-off hopes hang in the balance after fighting back to earn a point against Cardiff City in stoppage time.

Kieffer Moore’s penalty just three minutes from time looked like it would be enough for the Bluebirds to leave the Madjeski Stadium with all three points.

But Reading had other ideas, with Yakou Meite’s header in the third minute of added time giving them a share of the spoils.

The first opportunity fell to Cardiff, with Moore flicking on a header and a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box gave the Bluebirds a free-kick. Will Vaulks drilled the set piece goalwards but the Reading wall charged it down well.

Harry Wilson earned a yard but saw his shot blocked too, whilst at the other end Andy Yiadom ran onto a ball over the top but couldn’t bring the ball down to shoot, and instead saw his cross cleared.

Cardiff bossed things in the first half, pressing Reading high up the pitch and not giving them any time on the ball and it took a fine save from Rafael to deny Wilson the opener.

As half-time approached, a frantic move almost saw the Royals go in front, but Oviemuno Ejaria and then Michael Olise had shots blocked before Meite forced Alex Smithies into a save at his near post.

Reading began the second half better, with Lucas Joao forcing Smithies into a smart save having drilled the ball across from a tight angle, before Meite fired well over when well placed.

It looked like it would be Reading who would grab the opening goal, but Cardiff struck a blow after 87 minutes.

Substitute Sheyi Ojo saw his shot parried by Rafael and Omar Richards caught Moore late as he looked the clear the loose ball. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Moore fired high into the roof of the net to give Cardiff the lead.

It looked as though that would be that, but Reading kept pressing and their pressure paid off in the third of five added minutes.

Sam Baldock dug out a cross from the byline and picked out the unmarked Meite at the far post, and his downward header back across goal gave Smithies no chance.

Reading have spent most of the season inside the Championship’s top six, but now need results to go their way across the weekend.

Veljko Paunovic’s side are now four points behind sixth-place Barnsley having played a game more and know that they need luck to be on their side if they are to go back into the play-off places before the end of the season.

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