IAN HOLLOWAY saluted Wilfried Zaha after the winger fired Crystal Palace into the Championship play-off final.
Zaha, who is joining Manchester United in the summer, booked himself a farewell party at Wembley with two goals to sink Brighton.
The Eagles, who had been written off as promotion contenders having staggered into the play-offs with one win in 10 matches, will now take on Watford in a fortnight for a place in the Premier League.
Selhurst boss Holloway said: "We've lost that boy, but he got us to a Wembley final. I believe Wilf will be a match-winner at the top, top level, but he wanted to keep playing well for us and you saw that.
"It was nice knowing everyone wrote us off and we beat a very good team."
Brighton, undefeated in 11 games, were clear favourites to sink their fierce rivals on their own patch after the goalless first leg.
They came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when substitute Ashley Barnes' first touch was a shot which Julian Speroni tipped onto the crossbar.
And from the resulting corner, Barnes' header was cleared off the line by Dean Moxey.
But in the 69th minute, Palace sub Yannick Bolasie swung in a cross and Zaha met it with a firm diving header which crashed into the net.
And with two minutes left and Brighton pushing for an equaliser, Zaha turned Gordon Greer before crashing his shot into the roof of the net.
The 20-year-old has already earned Palace £15million for his switch to Old Trafford and he could now help them secure the multi-million pound windfall which promotion brings.