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Palace manager Alan Smith:
"We were up for it"
 real 14k

Sunderland boss Peter Reid:
"Palace were the better side"
 real 14k

Palace scorer Mikael Forssell:
"It was a fantastic evening for us and a good win"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's John Murray
reports from Selhurst Park
 real 14k

banner Tuesday, 19 December, 2000, 21:40 GMT
Palace earn shock win over Sunderland
Clinton Morrison
Clinton Morrison celebrates with his Palace teammates
Crystal Palace 2-1 Sunderland

Crystal Palace pulled off a shock victory against Sunderland in the Worthington Cup quarter-finals at Selhurst Park.

The First Division side upset the form book to earn a semi-final place thanks to Clinton Morrison's 82nd minute winner.

Mikael Forssell put the cash-strapped Eagles ahead early in the second half but Sunderland were level straight away through Alex Rae.

Palace twice hit the woodwork before Morrison clinched the all important winner to set up a semi-final meeting against Liverpool.

Sunderland had themselves to blame as their indifferent finishing cost them dear.

Off target

Danny Dichio, handed a rare start in place of the rested Niall Quinn, missed a host of chances while Kevin Phillips was unusually wasteful with his finishing.

A static Sunderland backline were almost punished in the 10th minute when Fan Zhiyi's through-ball sprang the offside trap for Morrison to race clear.

The Eagles' top scorer attempted to curl the ball around the on-rushing Thomas Sorensen but the big Dane managed to half-stop the effort and Darren Williams cleared off the line.

Dichio also had a good chance four minutes later but toe-poked his shot wide from Rae's left-wing free-kick having stolen in front of the hosts' defence.

Quickfire

Following a pensive opening 45 minutes the game burst into life at the resumption with two goals in the space of 60 seconds.

Sorensen gifted the home side the lead with a 48th-minute gaffe that left Forssell with the easiest of tap-ins.

The Finnish forward, on a long-term loan from London neighbours Chelsea, had fired a shot wide from the Eagles' first foray forward of the half.

Sorensen made a terrible hash of his goal-kick, however, fluffing it straight to Morrison who squared for his strike partner to walk the ball into the net.

Sunderland offered an immediate riposte, though, levelling straight from the restart through Rae as the Scot pounced on a Dichio knock-down to squeeze his shot under Kolinko.

Dichio warmed Kolinko's fingers with a 20-yard volley and should have put the visitors ahead in the 58th minute only to guide the ball the wrong side of a post after he and Phillips got in each other's way.

Palace continued to press at the other end, however, the crossbar twice denying Smith's Division One side in a matter of seconds.

First Forssell cut inside to curl a right-foot shot against the woodwork before flailing his follow-up attempt wide. Then Morrison repeated the feat by ballooning the ball off the angle following a Forssell lay-off.

Phillips forced Kolinko to turn away a long-range drive before blazing high and wide after outpacing the defence.

With extra time looming and Palace's luck seemingly spent, Morrison produced a sublime winner.

He danced around Gray on the edge of the area and his piercing cross-shot arrowed past Sorensen's despairing dive and in off the post.


Crystal Palace: Kolinko, Smith, Austin, Zhiyi, Ruddock, Mullins, Rodger, Clinton Morrison, Black, Forssell, Pollock.
Subs: Gray, Thomson, Carlisle, Gregg, Harrison.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Williams, Varga, Thome, Arca, Kilbane, Rae, Schwarz, Dichio, Phillips.
Subs: McCann, Marriott, Craddock, Thirlwell, Oster.

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood).

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See also:

19 Dec 00 |  Worthington Cup
Ipswich sink City in extra time
19 Dec 00 |  Football
Cup Clockwatch
19 Dec 00 |  FA Cup
Reading 1-3 York City
19 Dec 00 |  Photo Galleries
Worthington Cup - in pictures
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