Fulham draws 1-1 with Blackburn in Premier League

BY foxsports • September 11, 2011

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora denied Blackburn a first victory of the season in the Premier League by curling home an exquisite equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

The England international bent a superb finish into the bottom corner in the 37th minute to salvage a point for Fulham, which had fallen behind to Spanish youngster Ruben Rochina's fierce strike from the edge of the area five minutes earlier.

The result leaves both teams without a win after four games, with Blackburn still bottom of the table despite earning its first point of the campaign.

''We've got spirit, we've got togetherness. We didn't sit back and just defend, we came with quite an attacking threat,'' Kean said. ''I think it brings confidence. Any point away from home is difficult to grab in the Premiership.''

Fulham is a point better off but failed to make the most of the team's second-half dominance, when Danny Murphy and Clint Dempsey went close to grabbing a winner.

''I'm really disappointed. I felt we dominated that match and we should have won it easily,'' Fulham defender Brede Hangeland said. ''We lacked a little bit of skill and a little bit of luck.''

There was a minute's silence before kickoff to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Dempsey, the United States forward, and his Fulham teammates lined up with their arms around each other's shoulders around the center circle, with players from both teams wearing black armbands on their left sleeves.

Fulham coach Martin Jol selected Costa Rica striker Bryan Ruiz for his first start after signing for 10 million pounds from Dutch club Twente.

Both sides have struggled in the league this season and the visitors broke the deadlock through Ruben Rochina's fine 18-yard drive that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Fulham only impressed in fits and starts in the first period but managed to equalize through a curled effort from Zamora, who bundled past Gael Givet before finding the far corner with his left foot.

Ruiz was withdrawn for the second half as the home side took control, with Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson making a save from Danny Murphy.

Dempsey almost netted a winner in stoppage time, but Robinson dived to his left to divert the ball for a corner.

With the clock ticking down, Blackburn striker Junior Hoilett broke onto a long clearance upfield and collided with Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who had rushed out to meet the ball just outside the box.

Schwarzer was booked for the clumsy challenge and the game was stopped for several minutes until Hoilett was treated and taken off the pitch on a stretcher.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean said the forward had lost consciousness and would need three or four stitches to a head wound.

''It's not a great challenge and he's going to have a bit of concussion,'' Kean said. ''We'll see how it is, but it was a bad one.''