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Aki come-back goal seals Palace win

February 4 2006

Come-back goal

Come-back goal

A 68th-minute goal by Aki, making his return after a four-month absence, brought Palace the points against a dogged Cardiff side. Palace had most of the play but a draw was looming when AJ carved an opening for Aki to side-foot home writes Peter Gillman.

Palace dominated the opening exchanges and should have gone ahead on 13 minutes when AJ missed a Dougie cross which McAnuff then blasted against the underside of the bar. Palace had a scare on 28 minutes when Cardiff’s Jerome slotted home after a slip by Hall, but were reprieved by a freekick for an apparent push.

Ward put the ball in the net on 60 minutes but the linesman had already flagged for offside against AJ.

Aki’s goal came after an elaborate Palace freekick. The ball broke to AJ who took the ball deep to the by-line before pulling it back for Aki to hit the winner.

Palace looked secure but a mystery red card for Hall, apparently signalled by the linesman, reduced them to ten men for the last ten minutes. Palace held out to bring a welcome three points, their first win in four games.

Palace: Kiraly; Leigertwood, Ward, Hall, Boyce; Reich (sub Watson 86), Hughes, Riihilahti, McAnuff (sub Borrowdale 80); Freedman, Johnson (sub Morrison 90).

Man of the match: Aki.

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