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June 14 2024 3.30am

Palace off to Wembley!

May 13 2013

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace secured their spot in the Championship play-off final after a 2-0 win at Brighton.

Wilfried Zaha netted two goals in the second half to give underdogs Palace the perfect victory over their arch foes in the semi-final second leg tie at The Amex.

The Eagles now face Watford in the final at Wembley in a fortnight with Gianfranco Zola's side standing in their way of a place in the Premier League.

Going into the game Brighton had gone 10 matches unbeaten and had not lost at home since January. Palace, meanwhile, had only won one of the last 11 fixtures and had only netted once in their last five away outings.

Aaron Wilbraham - who came in for injured top scorer Glenn Murray - fired his shot wide in an opening period that was dominated by the Seagulls.

Julian Speroni blocked Will Buckley's effort, then David Lopez's shot was deflected narrowly over the bar as the hosts dominated possession.

However, Jon Williams went agonisingly close to putting the Eagles ahead when he bore down on goal from Zaha's pinpoint through ball but drove just past the post.

Ashley Barnes leapt off the bench in the 64th minute and almost gave Brighton the lead with one of his first touches but Speroni palmed his shot onto the crossbar. And from the resulting corner, Dean Moxey nodded Barnes' header off the line.

Five minutes later, substitute Yannick Bolasie's left-wing cross was nodded in with a diving header by Zaha, who had moved inside Wayne Bridge to score.

Two minutes from time, Zaha made the tie safe with a neat turn past Gordon Greer in the area before blasting a lethal shot into the roof of the net to send the away fans into raptures.

2012/13 match reports

2012/13 squad stats

Championship table

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