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.
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer 0
- MLS roundup: Houston, Vancouver sit on top of their conferences after day one 0
- Rare bad night from Robbie Keane costs LA Galaxy against Real Salt Lake 0
- Atlantic crushed: D.C. United, New York open the season with three-goal losses 2
- Stoppage time goal gives Seattle 1-0 opening day win over Sporting Kansas City (video) 10
- Premier League Roundup: Chelsea clear at the top, Manchester United click, Cardiff bag huge win 0
- Juventus Prove They Know how to Win Despite Weak Performance Against Fiore
- Liverpool is Ready to Spend $100 Million in Summer Transfers
- Dallas Manage 3-2 Win in Season Opener Against Impact
- Dynamo Shut Out the Revs as Bruin Scores a Pair
- Argentine Melodies Illuminate Rainy Night in Portland
- LA Galaxy Gift Real Salt Lake Three Points in Season Opener
- Berhalter Gets First Win as Columbus Downs D.C. United 3-0
- Colorado Rapids - 3 Hopes and One Fear
- NYRB Don't Know What Hits Them in Emphatic 4-1 Whitecaps Win
- John Terry Rules out International Return