Oct 21, 2013, 3:54 PM EDT
Crystal Palace took an early lead, but Fulham tied it up soon after on a spectacular volley from Pajtim Kasami. It was the Swiss midfielder’s second goal of the season after his opening-day strike against Sunderland.
He took down an aerial pass on the right side of the penalty area border with Palace goalscorer Adrian Mariappa on his back. Kasami took the ball with his chest, twisted and fired into the net without breaking stride or pace. The ball fell to his weaker right foot, but it looked very strong as it powered the shot past Julián Speroni in goal.
On the stroke of halftime, Steve Sidwell did his best to one-up his teammate. After Costa Rican midfielder Bryan Ruiz hit the wall with his free kick, the deflection found Sidwell on top of the penalty area. He took his opportunity, smashing the ball into the top left-hand corner.
Mariappa’s early goal, a header on which the 5-foot, 10-inch defender out-jumped 6-foot, 6-inch Brede Hangeland, gave the 19th-placed team some belief, but Kasami and Sidwell erased it. The rest of the half progressed evenly, neither team threatening seriously aside from their goals.
First-half statistics, via FourFourTwo Stats Zone:
Attempts on goal — Palace 8-5 Fulham
Shots on target — 2-2
Crosses — 12-5
Attempted passes — 194-236
Final-third passes — 60-56
Passing accuracy — 75.3%-82.6%
Possession — 45.7%-54.3%
Watch the second half on NBCSN or streaming on NBC Live Extra.
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