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Cardinals & Steelers seal titles

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NFL highlights - Arizona 32-25 Philadelphia

Kurt Warner threw three first-half touchdowns to Larry Fitzgerald as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Eagles 32-25 to reach Super Bowl XLIII.

The Cardinals opened up a 24-6 lead in the NFC title match in Phoenix before the Eagles staged a fightback.

But another Warner touchdown pass, this time to Tim Hightower, gave the Cardinals victory and took them to their first title match in 61 years.

They will meet Pittsburgh, who beat Baltimore 23-14 in the AFC decider.

The Super Bowl will take place in Tampa on 1 February.

Pittsburgh turned to their trademark defence to win as Troy Polamalu returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown late in the game to seal the victory.

And the Steelers' top-rated NFL defence forced two later Ravens turnovers to capture the American Conference crown.

Ben Roethlisberger threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes and Jeff Reed kicked three field goals to send Pittsburgh to their seventh Super Bowl.

"We're a selfless group. We're an opportunistic group. We will get in the lab and give our fans something to be happy about," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, the youngest coach in Super Bowl history at age 36.

Veteran quarterback Warner threw four touchdown passes in all as Arizona claimed their first league title since beating the Eagles in 1947, ending the second-longest drought in North American sports history in advancing to their first Super Bowl.

606: DEBATE

The Cardinals led 24-6 at half-time on Warner touchdown passes of one, nine and 62 yards to Fitzgerald.

Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb led the Eagles fightback, tossing touchdown passes of six and 31 yards to Brent Celek and 62 yards to rookie DeSean Jackson to give the Eagles their first lead at 25-24 with 10 minutes remaining.

Arizona answered with a 72-yard march that ended with Warner throwing a nine-yard touchdown pass to Hightower and a two-point conversion pass to Ben Patrick, to seal the win.

"I want to say Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl in the same sentence. I like the sound of that," Warner said.

"We felt like our backs have been against the wall because nobody gave us a chance. We're one step away from our goal."

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NFL highlights - Pittsburgh 23-14 Baltimore



see also
Spagnuolo takes over as Rams boss
18 Jan 09 |  American Football
Schwartz handed Lions coach role
15 Jan 09 |  American Football
Indianapolis coach Dungy retires
13 Jan 09 |  American Football
Eagles victory ends Giants' reign
11 Jan 09 |  American Football
Mangini takes charge at Cleveland
09 Jan 09 |  American Football
Ravens beat Dolphins in play-offs
05 Jan 09 |  American Football
Broncos sack long-serving coach
30 Dec 08 |  American Football
Jets, Lions & Browns fire coaches
29 Dec 08 |  American Football
Lions loss seals worst NFL season
28 Dec 08 |  American Football


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