This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Adama Traore’s first goal in 11 months saw Wolverhampton Wanderers secure their place in the next round of the FA Cup by defeating Crystal Palace 1-0.
The thunderous blow from the Spanish international was enough to inflict a third round exit for the second consecutive season for the 2016 finalists following an ultimately lackluster performance.
The symbolic fact that Traore shed the gloves on a cold night inside the ember tie early indicated that he was ready for business as Palace struggled to cope with his pace and power during the nineties.
A quiet first 15 minutes culminated with Fabio Silva missing an opportunity on the brink of guilt, somehow failing to convert a free header from a few yards.
Moments later, Palace rallied to the other end of the field, which ended with Eberechi Eze firing just above to send a warning to the hosts.
However, the visitors struggled to contain Traore, who was rampant during the first half. The 24-year-old fired wide in the 17th minute after cutting from the left before chipping into Jack Butland’s palms with a fierce effort just three minutes later.
Butland was going to be a busy man for the rest of the term. Nelson Semedo was one of the Wolves staff to force him into action again, his low drive had to be matched by the England international.
Sign up for the free daily TEAMtalk newsletter …
A long wait is over
The moment of the game came at 35 minutes when Traore reentered once more to this time unleash a rocket past the custodian of the Palace.
That was his first goal since February when he scored against Espanyol in the Europa League. A contender for the strike of the round, the strike was enough to see the locals enter the interval 1-0 up.
His explosive outbursts continued into the second half, rekindling fan memories of his devastating form from last season. His roadrunner pace saw him further disrupt the Palace baseline in the second half.
As the clock struck 60 minutes, he beat Patrick Van Aanholt down the flank before launching a cross that forced Butland to make a save point-blank despite Leander Dendoncker’s best attempts at shoveling the ball.
With 20 minutes to go, Roy Hodgson pitched Wilfred Zaha to try and save the game for Palace. In fact, he injected some rhythm into the visiting attack, pushing back the Wolves defense for the first time in the tie.
However, it was too late for the Eagles as they succumbed to a well-oiled Wolves team that ran to our winners 1-0.
Boss Nuno Espitro Santo will have learned a lot about his team with several players making solid changes, like Pedro Neto, who pestered and bullied all night.