Overcoming a team condemned to playing in League One next season was supposed to be the easy part for Fulham but nothing felt straightforward on a night of tension at Craven Cottage and, if Neil Warnock was watching this game on television, he will no doubt have taken note of some generous refereeing decisions. It was only when the marginally offside Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the decisive goal that Fulham could be confident of hauling themselves back into the Championship’s top two with one match left.
For all the late drama, however, the real challenge for Slavisa Jokanovic’s players will be finding a way to enjoy their Saturday. It seems preposterous that a team on a 23-match unbeaten run could be forced to endure the torture of the play-offs. http://www.giantsfootballofficialprostore.com/giants+keenan+robinson+jersey But there is no escaping the unforgiving nature of this race to win automatic promotion, with Fulham all too aware they will be a point below Cardiff if Warnock’s team win at 18th-placed Hull this afternoon.
“We will see what Cardiff do,” said Mitrovic, who has scored 12 goals since arriving on Bryan Rust Jersey loan from Newcastle in January. “Of course we are confident we can pip them.”
That might depend on Cardiff playing with the kind of anxiety that threatened to derail Fulham’s challenge for much of this fraught encounter. Jokanovic admitted his players felt the pressure, particularly during the first half, and their choked display allowed Sunderland to prey on their nerves.
Sunderland had only had a week to digest the ignominy of successive relegations but Chris Coleman’s team were roared on by a good-humoured away following and Fulham had already survived a couple of scares before Joel Asoro broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. Ashley Fletcher flicked a long ball on to the winger, who celebrated his 19th birthday by spinning away from Matt Targett and angling a low shot past Marcus Bettinelli from 20 yards.
Fulham could have no complaints. Loose touches, sloppy passing and misunderstandings had undermined their spirited approach, Tom Cairney was struggling to find his range in midfield and this was one of Ryan Sessegnon’s quieter games.
There was further alarm when Targett limped off with an ankle injury. But luck was on Fulham’s side, with Peter Dennis Johnson Youth jersey Bankes waving away Sunderland’s appeals for a penalty when Tim Ream caught Ovie Ajaria on the stroke of half-time. “I was bitterly disappointed with the decisions,” Coleman said. “It’s not a tough call. And Fulham’s second goal was a yard offside. But look, we haven’t been relegated because of referees.”
Fulham were level moments after Ream’s escape. Aboubakar Kamara, Targett’s replacement, released Ryan Fredericks and, although Jason Steele tipped the right-back’s cutback away from Mitrovic, the Sunderland goalkeeper’s intervention only presented Lucas Piazon with an open goal.
“We wanted to dominate but we moved the ball without taking a risk with the last pass,” Jokanovic said. “It was not an easy moment for us. We showed some great character.”
Fulham strove to assert themselves at the start of the second half. Kamara, impressing on the right, was a thorn in Marc Wilson’s side and the substitute almost found a way through with a powerful shot, only for Steele to react sharply at his near post.
It was clear Coleman, a former Fulham captain and manager, http://www.authenticbuccaneersofficial.com/Nike-Charles-Sims-Jersey.html also wanted to leave a good impression at the place he once called home. Mitrovic threatened and Steele was booked for timewasting, but Sunderland were defending with dogged resolve. The frustration was building. wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys from china
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