Tatsuhiro Sakamoto scores twice as Coventry beat Sheffield Wednesday

By Sports Desk December 26, 2023

Japan international Tatsuhiro Sakamoto struck both goals as Coventry continued to rise up the Sky Bet Championship standings with a 2-0 win over struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

Although the Sky Blues remain in mid-table, they now find themselves just three points behind the play-off places following their third win in five games unbeaten.

While Mark Robins’ side are looking upwards in hope, the Owls do so in desperation after Huddersfield’s victory over Blackburn left them eight points adrift of safety.

The match got off to a scrappy opening with neither team able to keep hold of the ball for sustained periods.

The flow wasn’t helped by an unfortunate head injury to Wednesday forward Callum Paterson and it was while he was about to be substituted off that Coventry took the lead in the 20th minute.

It was USA international Haji Wright who pulled the ball back from the left for Sakamoto, and although his shot was not the cleanest it found the bottom corner.

The opening goal of the game actually came from its first effort, a feat the Owls could not replicate when Marvin Johnson shot tamely at Brad Collins after working himself into space.

The best chance the visitors had to draw level before half-time was when Johnson was given plenty of time to cross, only for George Byers to miscue his header off target.

Sakamoto had an opportunity to double his and Coventry’s tally seven minutes after the restart when he shot wide from just outside the area after Josh Eccles’ corner was cleared his way.

Wednesday managed to ride out what was a bright start to the second half by the Sky Blues and they really should have equalised after 64 minutes when substitutes Anthony Musaba and Ashley Fletcher both had efforts from point-blank range blocked.

The hosts then had a great opportunity to put clear daylight between themselves and the Owls when Eccles played in a fine cross that was headed wide by Wright at the back post.

Chances were finally stating to flow, with a mistake from Coventry’s Bobby Thomas letting in Bailey Cadamarteri, whose effort was beaten away by Collins with what was his first real save.

Bambo Diaby then headed Barry Bannan’s free kick over as the visitors continued to press for an equaliser, but time was now running out for Danny Rohl’s side.

Instead, the Sky Blues put the game beyond them in the 89th minute when Sakamoto was found in space on the right and he cut inside before bending a fine finish beyond Cameron Dawson.

Frustration boiled over after the final whistle, as Diaby was shown a red card following a fracas with Coventry’s Liam Kitching, who was also sent off.

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