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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Sava sinks Charlton
Sava celebrates his winner by strapping on a face mask
Sava celebrates his winner by strapping on a face mask
Fulham 1-0 Charlton

Fulham continued their impressive start to the season and ended Charlton's unbeaten away record courtesy of Facundo Sava's first-half goal.

The Argentine striker poked home from six yards after Charlton keeper Dean Kiely had failed to hold a Steed Malbranque drive.


"Charlton deserved a draw today - we were very lucky to win as we were very tired in the second half
Fulham manager
Jean Tigana

And he celebrated his second goal for the club in colourful style, pulling a face mask from his sock and strapping it across his face before running to the Fulham bench.

The bizarre celebration stems from his time at Argentine club Gimnasia la Plata, when he marked his goals by wearing wolf masks in respect of his nickname, "wolfie".

But the goal and the colourful celebration that went with it could not mask a gloomy London derby.

  Match facts
2 mins: Marlet heads against the post
19 mins: Marlet penalty appeals waved away
36 mins: Sava strikes the only goal
45 mins: Bartlett wastes a glorious chance
80 mins: Bartlett shoots against the bar

Fulham started the game at real pace and they could have been in front within two minutes when Steve Marlet flicked a header against a post.

Luis Boa Morte also flashed a shot wide, while Marlet had penalty claims waved away after he collided with Mark Fish just inside the area.

But the rapid start soon ran out of steam as the game slowed to a lethargic plod.

Kiely certainly looked sleepy when he could only parry Steed Malbranque's shot from the edge of the area nine minutes before half-time.

Sava was quick to punish the error, reacting quickest to the loose ball and poking past the panic-stricken Kiely.

Sava celebrates his winner
Sava celebrates his winner

The goal was no more than Fulham deserved, but Charlton should have been level in first-half injury time.

South African striker Shaun Bartlett was sent clean through with only goalkeeper Edwin van der Saar to beat.

But Bartlett elected to square the ball to John Robinson, giving the alert Van der Saar time to recover his ground and block the midfielder's resulting shot.

A drab second half rarely showed signs of more goals and Charlton struggled to find a way back.


We've had a particularly bad week - you've just got to score goals and, if you make mistakes at this level, you're going to be punished
Charlton manager
Alan Curbishley

Jason Euell saw a shot fly over the crossbar from the edge of the area but the visitors lacked spirit.

And when Euell presented Bartlett with an ideal opportunity to make up for his earlier miss, the striker somehow spooned his shot against the crossbar.

By then, manager Alan Curbishley had already thrown on striker Kevin Lisbie in one final throw of the dice, but the little front man barely got a look in as Fulham's imposing defence stood tall.



Fulham: Van der Sar, Ouaddou, Knight, Melville, Brevett, Legwinski, Davis (Wome 67), Malbranque, Boa Morte (Inamoto 64), Marlet, Sava (Hayles 74).
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Collins.

Booked: Brevett.

Charlton: Kiely, Young (Johansson 83), Rufus, Fish, Powell, Robinson, Mustoe, Jensen, Konchesky (Lisbie 66), Euell, Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Kishishev, Fortune.

Booked: Rufus, Euell.

Attendance: 14,775

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's David Oates
"Charlton probably deserved some reward"
Fulham's Andy Melville
"I didn't think the performance was up to scratch"
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Why did striker Facundo Sava pull this imitation of Zorro after scoring the winner against Charlton?Masked man
Bizarre goal celebration explained
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