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Crystal Palace u21’s vs Jong PSV - Premier League International Cup Final

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

On Tuesday 23rd May 2023, Crystal Palace Under 21’s hosted against Jong PSV in the Premier League International Cup Final at Selhurst Park.

Three weeks prior to this match Crystal Palace concluded their 22/23 Premier League 2 season with a 1-0 loss against to Liverpool at the Academy, this meant they finished 4th in the league just one point behind Chelsea. The Premier League International Cup began back in September 2022 commencing with a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin II. Followed by an extraordinary 7-3 win over PSG and a last minute winner against Sporting Braga to progress out of the group stage. The quarter-final saw them travel away to Liverpool getting the victory, before facing Valencia at Selhurst Park and beating them on penalties to secure their place in the final.

Their opponents were Jong PSV who compete in the Eerste Divisie which is the second-highest tier of football in the Netherlands, they finished 14th in the league without a win in their final two games. On route to the final, they beat the likes of England giants Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton under 21 sides, so were not a team to underestimate.

Darren Powell made five changes compared to the team that played the final PL2 match this saw surprise introductions of return loanees Killian Phillips, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, Rob Street and Scott Banks replacing David Omilabu, Fionn Mooney, Jadan Raymond and Victor Akinwale; with the final change seeing Dylan Reid be replaced by captain Jack Wells-Morrison.

All four loanee’s have had great seasons at their clubs with Rak-Sakyi and Phillips being awarded Young Player of the Season for Charlton and Shrewsbury Town, respectively. Rak-Sakyi’s efforts also earned him a nomination for the EFL Young Player of the Season award in League One. Finally, Scott Banks was awarded the Supporters Trust Young Player of the Year at Bradford City, so a lot of excitement surrounded Selhurst park as we waited for the match!

An unfortunate 3-1 defeat for the Young Eagles in South London against Jong PSV after extra-time in the Premier League International Cup final.

It was Crystal Palace and Killian Phillips who had the first chance of the game. Kaden Rodney slipped the ball to the midfielder in the box finding his run beyond the PSV defenders, but the angle was tight, and his shot could only find the side-netting.

The home side came close again with a Scott Banks free kick, but again his attempt only found the side-netting.

The play in the midfield was scrappy and allowed neither team to build real momentum.

Throughout the majority of the match Palace gave the ball away easily and invited unnecessary pressure from the Dutch visitors. This allowed PSV to play the ball around with Palace failing to close the attacking play down and were punished on the 34th minute with a back post finish from Dante Sealy.

This boosted the visitors’ confidence with two shots in quick succession from Jason van Duiven and Isaac Babadi, with the first being caught by Owen Goodman and the second blazing wide of the post.

Despite the momentary domination of the game, it was Palace who scored the next goal with a moment of brilliance. After his corner was almost met by Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, continued pressure from palace allowed Banks to steal the ball of the PSV striker on the edge of the Palace attacking box. He took a touch into space and sent a bullet of a shot into the far top corner way out of reach of the PSV keeper Niek Schiks in front of the 5,941 people in attendance (including some first team players), bringing the scores back level.

Just before half time PSV had a chance to regain their lead, again allowed lots of space the visitors found van Duiven in the box and his header forced Goodman into a low save.

The second half saw a lot of quality down Palace’s left with Tayo Adaramola and Banks linking up well, Adaramola’s pace meant Palace could attempt to hit PSV on the counterattack. An early link up almost led to Palace taking the lead, Banks was slipped down the wing before making a driving run into the box before pulling it back for the multiple players in red and blue lining up but somehow it was kept out with PSV able to clear.

With the momentum fully swinging Palace’s way, shortly after the same duo connected with Adaramola having a standout performance. He used his pace and tricked his way past two defenders, finding Rob Street at the back post who could only direct his shot onto the crossbar – with the flag going up for offside anyway.

The chances for both teams were minimal with the only notable chance coming deep in stoppage time with Kofi Balmer, up for a corner, only able to direct his effort into a PSV player who made the clearance sending the game into extra time.

PSV began extra-time the far more energetic side pilling numerous chances onto a tiring Palace side. Again, after Palace failed to clear from a corner Mathijs Tielemans’ long shot came back off the crossbar sending warning signs to the South London side.

It wasn’t long before PSV capitalised on their chances and retook the lead. Similar to their opener the ball was pulled across the box from the left finding van Duiven on the right side just beating Rodney and converted his shot beyond the Palace defence.

The chances for the home side were few and far between with PSV having a lot of possession; although Banks almost replicated his earlier goal, but this time the ball whipped just wide of the far post.

Darren Powel made multiple substitutions for the second period of extra time to try bring some life in the team. These changes did provide more threat for the Young Eagles – with substitute David Omilabu forcing a last ditch tackle and Phillips having a shot blocked with a good save - but the visitors continued to have a strong grip on the game.

PSV killed all hopes of a comeback with Simon Colyn sending a free kick into the top corner making it 3-1 securing their title of Champions of Europe.

Despite falling short at the final hurdle, the Young Eagles should still feel proud of their achievements and making it to a European final, they received applauds well after the final whistle from the Palace faithful. It wasn’t the greatest performance across the field and sometimes they fell victim of looking for tackles rather than just playing football, but perhaps this is to be expected when facing an experienced national league playing team. I thought Tayo Adaramola and Scott Banks both had fantastic games and hopefully we see more of them linking up next season! This was the under 21’s final game of the season after a long and successful 22/23, they will now have a deserved break before I assume, like last year, doing pre-season with the first team.

My next game is Palace’s final match of the season against Nottingham Forrest on Sunday, so look out for that post.

Thank you for reading.

Ellie Xx


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