Watford vs. Crystal Palace - Football Match Report

Paola Ditto
Marzo 16, 2019

LONDON, March 16 ― Andre Gray came off the bench to fire Watford into the FA Cup semi-finals with the late victor in their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace today.

Michy Batshuayi punished a defensive lapse to equalise for Roy Hodgson's side just past the hour mark, and Palace looked to have the upper hand moving into the closing stages.

He volleyed in a 79th minute victor to send their fans home dreaming of a second FA Cup final appearance, after the 1984 showpiece which they lost.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka should have forced extra-time when the ball fell to him after a Gomes mistake in stoppage-time, but the Palace defender blasted just wide.

The 38-year-old has only played in the FA Cup this season, with Ben Foster first choice in the league, and said afterwards he was "99.9 percent" certain to retire to become a pastor when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Gracia said Watford had "suffered" in the second half but added: "We are ambitious".

"It was a hard moment when Crystal Palace equalised, but I was confident we would be able to win the game", he said. "We want to achieve the final - that is our target".

Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes was called into action early on when he saved Luka Milivojevic's shot, but opposite number Vincente Guaita was busier.

But Palace, without the injured Wilfried Zaha, improved after the break and Watford began to look jittery.

In the 62nd minute Adrian Mariappa dithered on the ball and was dispossessed by Batshuayi.

The former Chelsea man then advanced before opening up his body and shooting past Gomes.

Crystal Palace go in search of a place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, when they head to Vicarage Road to take on Watford in the quarter final of the FA Cup but they will be without a key defender for the contest, according to their official website.

Roberto Pereyra was the catalyst with an incisive burst from midfield and the Argentine's perfectly-placed pass picked out Gray, who timed his run to poke a volley past Guaita from eight yards.

"We were looking unsafe and the Watford crowd had gone very quiet".

The goal sealed a hat-trick of 2-1 wins over Crystal Palace this season.

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