May 17 2004
Crystal Palace made it to the Division One Play-off Final after beating Sunderland on penalties at the Stadium of Light.
The Eagles were on the brink of being knocked out after they went down 2-0 just before half-time and saw Julian Gray sent off late in the second half.
No goals were scored in the extra-time period so a penalty shoot-out had to decide who qualified for the final in Cardiff and it was Palace who showed the better nerves.
Palace settled best in the opening minutes of the game and could have taken the lead with two good opportunities.
Keeper Mart Poom came out to block Gray's shot from five yards, then Aki Riihilahti's header hit the post in the sixth minute as Gray fired the rebound over the bar.
But three minutes before the break, Sunderland produced a goal out of nothing as Kevin Kyle controlled Jason McAteer's cross on his chest before shooting past Nico Vaesen.
Worse was to follow as they doubled their lead two minutes into first half stoppage time. Marcus Stewart powerfully headed in McAteer's cross from the right hand side.
The Eagles desperately tried to get a goal back to level the tie - Gray had two chances, while Neil Shipperley nodded wide.
Gray was then shown the red card in the 86th minute for a second bookable offence - a foul on McAteer. It looked all over for 10-man Palace until Powell popped up to equalise in injury time.
With the score goal-less in extra-time, it went to a penalty shoot-out. Palace blew two chances to win it as Sunderland goalkeeper Mart Poom saved spot-kicks from Derry and Wayne Routledge.
The seventh Sunderland penalty was then missed by Jeff Whitley and Palace's Michael Hughes made no mistake to send the Eagles to Cardiff.
0-0 Oster (hit post)
0-1 Johnson (scored)
1-1 Smith (scored)
1-2 Freedman (scored)
2-2 Babb (scored)
2-3 Shipperley (scored)
3-3 Robinson (scored)
3-4 Popovic (scored)
4-4 Breen (scored)
4-4 Derry (saved)
4-4 McAteer (saved)
4-4 Routledge (saved)
4-4 Whitley (saved)
4-5 Hughes (scored)
Crystal Palace: Vaesen, Granville (Powell 72), Leigertwood, Popovic, Butterfield (Freedman 61), Gray, Hughes, Riihilahti (Derry 58), Routledge, Shipperley, Johnson.
Subs not used: Berthelin, Black.
Sent Off: Gray (86).
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In Depth Palace in the Play-offs 2004
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after the match at 4.46pm by adrian b
after the match at 4.42pm by Mapletree
after the match at 4.38pm by 14theresa
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