16th March 2019- FA Cup Sixth Round, Watford 2 Crystal Palace 1

Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
18,104
1-0
2-1

FA Cup Report: Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace

Gomes: “I Feel So Proud”

Gray: “A Little Bit More Special”

Gracia: “It’s Something Amazing For Us”

Watford and Crystal Palace going head to head in FA Cup quarter final

Watford beat Crystal Palace in FA Cup quarter-finals thanks to Andre Gray winner

Watford vs Crystal Palace: Javi Gracia praises Heurelho Gomes after FA Cup quarter-final triumph

Watford vs Crystal Palace: Javi Gracia stresses the Hornets’ strength as a team

Second-half substitute Andre Gray scored two minutes after coming on to send Watford into the FA Cup semi-finals with victory over Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road.

Gray’s goal 11 minutes from time booked Watford’s place at Wembley for the second time in four years after a passionate quarter-final at Vicarage Road, which the hosts were good value for edging. They took advantage of increasing first-half momentum to move ahead on the half-hour when Etienne Capoue was teed up by Craig Cathcart after Vincent Guiata missed a punch from a corner. But Michy Batshuayi then levelled after half-time following a horrible mistake from Adrian Mariappa.

As it happened

Nearly 35 years since their solitary appearance in the FA Cup final under Graham Taylor, Watford now have the chance under Gracia to emulate that famous side by reaching the Wembley showpiece match in May for a second time. The Spaniard’s name reverberated around the stadium at the final whistle as the veteran goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes – who is planning to take up a new career as a pastor at the end of the season – wept tears of joy. “When the team was suffering in the second half they were very important for the team,” Gracia said of his club’s fans. “I think they really lifted our players.”

It had been a long time coming, but finally Watford have their revenge. After losing to Crystal Palace in the 2013 Championship play-off final and the 2016 FA Cup semi-final, they have made it past their bogey team. As the crowd sang loud at the final whistle, Javi Gracia’s side are on their way to Wembley. And in the process they have consigned Roy Hodgson to another season without an FA Cup semi-final appearance.

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