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Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012

Palace takes semifinal first-leg lead


London — Crystal Palace moved closer to reaching its first major final in 22 years by beating Cardiff 1-0 at home in the first leg of the League Cup semifinals on Tuesday from Anthony Gardner's first-half goal.

Gardner's close-range header from a free kick in the 43rd minute at Selhurst Park was his first goal in more than a year. It has Palace fans hoping the team will make it to Wembley after having lost the 1990 F.A. Cup final to Manchester United.

Cardiff striker Kenny Miller had a goal contentiously disallowed in the second half for a foul on goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

Palace's squad was hit by a virus but only defender Nathanial Clyne was not well enough to play. He is expected to be fit for the second leg in Cardiff in two weeks' time.

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