Crystal Palace celebration
Crystal Palace FC

Road to the Cup: How Crystal Palace reached the FA Cup Final

The 2015-16 English Premier League campaign may be over, but Crystal Palace is far from done.

It was announced today that The Eagles will face Vancouver Whitecaps FC in an international friendly at BC Place on July 19 as part of the Vancouver International Soccer Challenge.

First, they have some unfinished business to take care of.

On Saturday at the famed Wembley Stadium, Crystal Palace will attempt to win their first-ever major trophy when they meet EPL giants Manchester United in the 2016 FA Cup Final (9:30 a.m. PT on Sportsnet World).

Saturday’s contest will be a rematch of the 1990 FA Cup Final when the two sides were involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw before Manchester United emerged victorious in the replay.

That was Crystal Palace’s only other appearance in the FA Cup Final.

The FA Cup is an annual competition that features 736 teams from the English Football Association. And now, we’re down to two.

It’s been quite the run for Crystal Palace to reach this point. Have a look for yourself.

THIRD ROUND: SOUTHAMPTON 1-2 CRYSTAL PALACE

As a Premiership club, Crystal Palace began the competition in the third round. They were drawn away at fellow EPL side Southampton. The Eagles won 2-1 on the strength of goals from Joel Ward and Wilfried Zaha, though goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey came up big in the dying stages.

FOURTH ROUND: CRYSTAL PALACE 1-0 STOKE CITY

Next up for Crystal Palace was Stoke City – another EPL side.

Zaha scored in his second straight FA Cup outing, tiptoeing into the box before finishing from 12 yards in the 17th minute to lead the Eagles to a 1-0 victory. 

FIFTH ROUND: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0-1 CRYSTAL PALACE

This is where thing got real for Crystal Palace.

A visit to White Hart Lane for a tilt with EPL contender Tottenham Hotspur was a daunting task indeed. But Crystal Palace prevailed thanks to a first-half stoppage time goal from Martin Kelly, some brilliant goalkeeping from Hennessey (who robbed Harry Kane twice), and a little bit of luck.

SIXTH ROUND: READING 0-2 CRYSTAL PALACE

This was Crystal Palace’s first match against a lower division side. And it was a good one.

Reading held their own for parts but Crystal Palace eventually broke through on an 86th-minute Yohan Cabaye penalty before adding an insurance marker in stoppage time.  

SEMIFINAL: CRYSTAL PALACE 2-1 WATFORD

A crowd of nearly 80,000 descended upon Wembley Stadium to watch Crystal Palace’s 2-1 win over Watford in the FA Cup semifinal on April 24. Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham provided the scoring for Crystal Palace, sealing their first FA Cup Final appearance in 26 years.

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