Palace booked their place in the Cape Town Cup final on Sunday thanks to a first-half demolition job of Supersport United.
Goals in the opening 45 minutes from Mile Jedinak, Chung-yong Lee, Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell gave the tourists a commanding lead at the break, and despite not adding to that total Alan Pardew’s men continued to dominate proceedings to comfortably advance to the final.
The Eagles got off to the perfect start in the third minute. After forcing an early corner, Lee clipped the ball into the box for Scott Dann and his goal ward header was flicked into the net by the boot of Jedinak from close range.
And on 17 minutes they doubled their advantage. The greasy pitch played its part as goalkeeper Ronwen Williams shanked a clearance straight to Lee, and the Korean winger bore down on goal and slipped the ball past the shot-stopper to find the far corner with a composed finish.
12 minutes later the Eagles had virtually booked their place in Sunday’s final by making it 3-0. Mutch skipped away from Michael Boxall on the right flank which allowed him to get in behind the Supersport backline, and he cut inside before casually scooping the ball over the despairing dive of Williams to register his first goal in a Palace shirt.
The floodgates had opened by the 34th minute when Palace went further ahead. Mutch found himself in possession inside the box and prodded the ball into the path of Jason Puncheon whose deflected cross fell perfectly for Campbell to lash the ball home from six yards out.
That was to be the end of the scoring but the first half performance would have impressed Pardew, and allowed the Eagles boss the chance to hand Patrick Bamford his debut at the interval.
However after the one way traffic in the first 45, Wayne Hennessey was the first keeper to be called into action after the restart, making a fine diving save to deny Jeremy Brockie from finding the top corner, and Lebogang Manyama wasn’t too far away from finding the opposite side a minute later but his effort flew wide.
Yohan Cabaye was introduced just before the hour mark and he played a magnificent ball through the Supersport defence for Bamford to latch onto but he couldn’t quite find a way past Williams as he saved with his legs, and at the other end Sibusiso Khumalo’s low centre narrowly avoided the stretching Brockie who was free at the back post.
The same thing happened with three minutes to go and this time Thuso Phala somehow didn’t manage to get the ball over the line from a couple of yards out as it spun upwards and into the hands of Hennessey as he kept his clean sheet in tact, saving well from Bradley Grobler at the death.
Palace: Hennessey, Kelly, Dann (Delaney 46), Hangeland, Souare (Scales 59), Jedinak, Ledley, Lee, Mutch (Cabaye 59), Puncheon (Kaikai 46), Campbell (Bamford 46). Subs not used: Speroni, McArthur, Murray, Gayle.
Supersport United: Williams, Daniels, B Khumalo, Boxall (Kekana 46), S Khumalo (Mpeta 74), Mathebula (Morne 46), Pietersen (Nkhabela 46), Phala, Wome, Manyama, Brockie (Grobler 74). Subs not used: Msibi, Teyise, bhengu, Nkhatha, Mkhabela, Mbebe, Morton, Farmer.