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December 15 2019 8.41pm

KG heads Eagles to victory

December 20 2011

Kagisho Dikgacoi

Kagisho Dikgacoi

Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi scores the only goal of the game as Crystal Palace beat Birmingham City.

Darren Ambrose returned to the starting line, to replace Wilfried Zaha who was suspended for the game.

The first notable chance of the game was in the 20th minute when Birmingham's teenage midfield Nathan Redmond hit a shot from outside the box which Julian Speroni had to be alert to block.

Two minutes later Mile Jedinak almost made it 1-0 to Palace with an excellent half volley from 25 yards, but Boaz Myhill brilliantly saved it.

Nathaniel Clyne, who got Sky Sports' man of the match award, almost broke the deadlock before half time, after a great one-two with Sean Scannell, but David Murphy executed a perfectly timed tackle to stop the defender from shooting.

Palace continued to pile on the pressure in the second half, being threatening with set pieces - An Ambrose free kick got blocked by the wall, and Paddy McCarthy hit the post with a header from a corner.

In the 83rd minute Birmingham finally cracked, when Ambrose sent in a near post cross which was brilliantly met by the head of Dikgacoi, who timed his run to perfection.

Dougie Freedman said after the match:

"It was a fantastic header and Darren put in a fantastic cross.

"Everyone understands the game plan, we've no big stars, no heroes, we win and lose together and tonight underlined that.

"We kept on plugging away, we refused to let one in our net and we had the desire to put one in Birmingham's net."

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