Saturday's early kick-off, in a scene that will be repeated across English football this weekend, saw players from Fulham and Manchester United wearing black armbands as a mark of respect for Sala.
Emiliano Sala's body was found after his family launched their own search when the official rescue mission was called off after three days.
An extensive rescue and recovery operation followed the incident.
Cardiff were in action for the first time since the striker's body had been recovered from underwater wreckage in the English Channel and formally identified by the Dorset coroner.
The occasion, however, was marred by a distasteful gesture made by two Southampton fans during the game.
The body of Argentinian striker Sala was recovered on Wednesday from the plane wreckage at the bottom of the English Channel, after the Piper Malibu aircraft piloted by Ibbotson crashed on the way from France to the United Kingdom on January 21. According to BBC, the fans were making aeroplane gestures and were later detained by the Hampshire Police.
Police later identified the supporters in question and detained them, with the club announcing that they will ban them for the disgusting behaviour.
Cardiff City FC said in a statement: "We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano".
Fans transformed the grounds around the stadium on Friday into a sea of bouquets and yellow-and-blue team scarves and jerseys in tribute to their fallen star.