Jan 17, 2016 at 6.05pm UK at ​Bank of America Stadium
Seattle Seahawks
Carolina Panthers
Stewart (12:30), Kuechly (11:38)
Stewart (14:18), Olsen (6:26)
Kearse (13:33), Lockett (7:40)
Kearse (6:04)

Result: Carolina Panthers hold off Seattle Seahawks fightback

The Carolina Panthers are forced to hold off a second-half fightback from the Seattle Seahawks to book their place in the NFC championship match.

The Carolina Panthers have booked their place in the NFC championship match courtesy of a 31-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in their divisional playoff final this evening.

Seattle found their quest to reach a third straight Super Bowl all but ended when they conceded 31 unanswered points in the first half, and the Panthers held off a fightback from Pete Carroll's men to set up a showdown with the Arizona Cardinals.

A visibly cold Cam Newton celebrates during the game between Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers on January 17, 2016© Getty Images

The hosts made a lightning-quick start at the Bank of America Stadium and were 14 points to the good inside five minutes courtesy of some devastating running and a Russell Wilson error.

Jonathan Stewart was the first on the board when he went over from four yards out, and shortly afterwards the Seahawks' first possession ended with Luke Kuechly intercepting a Wilson pass intended for Marshawn Lynch and returning it 14 yards for another touchdown.

Carolina began the second quarter just as quickly, with Stewart going over from a yard this time to double his personal tally before another Wilson interception in his own territory allowed Graham Gano to add a field goal.

Things got even better for the home side before half time as Greg Olsen made a leaping grab in the endzone for a 19-yard score to seemingly put the contest to bed.

Greg Olsen makes a touchdown reception during the game between Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers on January 17, 2016© Getty Images

The Seahawks missed a field goal going into the break, but they refused to give up and began the second half just as brightly as Carolina had the first, finally getting on the board when Wilson floated a pass over to the left side of the endzone for Jermaine Kearse to collect.

That was enough to spark a comeback and Wilson continued to atone for his earlier interceptions midway through the third quarter when he found Tyler Lockett with a deep pass into the endzone for a 33-yard score.

Wilson made it a second-half hat-trick of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter when he was forced deep before firing a pass to Kearse to make it just a 10-point game with more than six minutes remaining.

With the momentum firmly shifted in Seattle's favour, the Panthers struggled to create anything on offense, and the visitors closed within one score when Steven Hauschka slotted a 36-yard field goal with just over a minute of play left.

However, they could not recover the restart and Carolina wound down the clock to survive the scare and book their place in next week's NFC championship game against the Cardinals.

Greg Olsen #88 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates a 3rd quarter Panthers touchdown against the Washington Redskins during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 22, 2015
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