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      Report & Highlights: Palace power past Toffees to reach PL International Cup Final

      Crystal Palace U21
      Umeh-Chibueze 45+3'
      Umolu 48'
      Imray 70'
      Devenny 90+3'
      Everton U21
      Metcalfe 63' 86'

      Fine finishes from Franco Umeh, Trialist, Danny Imray and Justin Devenny saw Crystal Palace Under-21s soar past Everton 4-2 at Selhurst Park to set up a Premier League International Cup Final rematch with PSV Eindhoven.


      • Four changes for Palace in bid to reach back-to-back International Cup finals
      • Grehan, Ozoh, Umeh and Rak-Sakyi all start; Williams, Watson, Rodney and Mathurin move to bench
      • Clear openings for Everton early on but Kouyate & Hunt both mis-kick
      • Metcalfe draws fine save from Whitworth moments later
      • Palace’s Trialist off-target when through on goal as tie begins to open up
      • Imray effort deflected narrowly wide as Palace press for breakthrough
      • No. 2 then flashes effort across goal after collecting from Rak-Sakyi
      • Umeh strokes home to give Palace the lead on the stroke of half-time
      • HT: Palace 1-0 Everton
      • Rodney and Mathurin replace Ozoh and Rak-Sakyi at half-time
      • Trialist slams home within minutes of the restart to double Palace’s lead
      • Fine solo run from Mathurin draws low save from Crellin
      • Toffees pull one back on the hour as low cross from Metcalfe flies all the way in
      • Trialist denied immediately afterwards from close range by fine Crellin block
      • Imray crashes home a third from tight angle after Devenny’s clever reverse ball
      • Whitworth denies Kouyate and Metcalfe with superb late saves
      • Metcalfe penalty for Everton creeps into the corner to set up tense finale
      • Devenny dispatches injury-time counter-attack to seal Palace's progression
      • FT: Palace 4-2 Everton
      Premier League International Cup Highlights: Crystal Palace 4-2 Everton

      With reigning champions PSV Eindhoven having already qualified for the final, Palace were hoping to set-up back-to-back finals in the competition against the Dutch outfit – and maybe even claim a measure of revenge for last year’s extra-time defeat.

      Darren Powell’s side were bolstered by the availability of first-team regulars David Ozoh, on the bench for the weekend’s win at Anfield, and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who was enjoying his first match minutes since featuring briefly for the Under-21s in early February.

      Also joining the starting line-up was defender Sean Grehan, his first appearance since returning from his loan at Carlisle; and Franco Umeh, who recently made his non-competitive first-team bow against Bodø/Glimt in Marbella.

      A vociferous home crowd of just shy of 800 at Selhurst roared on the boys in red and blue, but with both teams keen not to give much away, defences proved well on top in the early stages – that is until Everton missed two gilt-edged opportunities on the 15-minute mark.

      A fine cross-field pass saw right-back Roman Dixon run clear down the flank, and when his low ball in took a deflection towards Katia Kouyate, the Everton forward swung his leg at it, wildly mis-kicking into the path of fellow striker Mackenzie Hunt, who also somehow swiped and connected only with air.

      After Palace scrambled behind, Everton went short from the corner, and Metcalfe bent in a high cross which threatened to loop in at the far post – forcing Joe Whitworth to be on his toes to back-pedal and palm the ball behind.

      Where Everton should have gone ahead at one end, Palace then ought to have taken the lead at the other within seconds; a clipped ball round the corner from Mofe Jemide was inadvertently looped forwards via an Everton boot, and the Eagles’ Trialist – out of nowhere – was suddenly clean through. With the 'keeper advancing, the No. 9 took his effort early – but swept his shot across goal, rolling wide of the far post.

      The flurry of chances paved way to a spell of Palace enjoying greater territory, if not much to show for it – but Danny Imray was proving a constant live-wire and, after seeing one shot deflect narrowly wide, linked up superbly with Rak-Sakyi on the wing, racing onto a reverse pass but slotting his effort off target from a tight angle.

      Four minutes into first-half injury-time, just as it appeared that defences would finish the period on top, Palace found a deserved breakthrough.

      The move was started and finished by Umeh, whose header on the halfway line set Justin Devenny racing towards the Everton box. Making an overlapping run, Trialist did well to receive the pass and show quick feet to dance to the byline, and his reverse pass found Umeh in plenty of space at the near post to sweep home for his 10th goal of the season.

      It was a fillip fully deserved by Palace, who withdrew Ozoh and Rak-Sakyi at half-time and introduced Rodney and Mathurin in their place.

      With Everton setting up more offensively, there was more space to operate in following the restart.

      Palace were quick to take full advantage. Trialist collected the ball deep in his own half, drove past the halfway line and played it to Umeh, whose electrifying pace took him to the byline. Racing forwards to get onto the return, Trialist was in the right place at the right time to crash home from close range – 2-0, and fully deserved.

      Palace were beginning to purr, and a fine solo run from Mathurin – between two Everton shirts – saw him produce a low shot 25 yards out, well kept out by Crellin in the visiting goal.

      But then, out of nowhere, an Everton lifeline on the hour; from a short corner, a low ball in from Metcalfe somehow evaded a crowd of players inside the box and, with Whitworth stranded, crept in at the far post.

      Despite that tonic, Palace’s pace on the counter-attack was proving irrepressible, with Trialist denied his second by an instinctive Crellin save with his boot, before the No. 9 dragged wide of the far post from slightly further out.

      Thankfully, the Eagles’ persistence paid off; Devenny was once again given plenty of room to operate in on the right wing and, as Everton bodies rushed back to cover, Imray bust a gut to sprint beyond him, receiving the ball from the tightest of angles – and crashing a high finish above Crellin and in via the underside of the bar.

      While the traffic remained mostly one-directional, there was still the opportunity for Whitworth to show off his reflexes in the Palace goal, getting across well to push away Kouyate’s rising drive from the edge of the box.

      Moments later, he produced an even better stop, springing high to turn away Metcalfe’s curling strike from 30 yards at full-stretch.

      He even came close to preventing Everton from pulling a goal back from the penalty spot with six minutes remaining. When Metcalfe was brought down by Noah Watson inside the area, the Palace ‘keeper got a hand to the Everton forward’s effort, but was ultimately beaten for sheer power.

      That set up a tense finale in SE25 – not helped by the signalling of six additional minutes – but Palace had looked so dangerous on the counter-attack all game long.

      And so the case proved in the third minute of injury time when Palace intercepted the ball on the edge of the box, Mathurin played a diagonal ball forwards, Trialist – two-on-one – headed down for Devenny on the edge of the area – and the midfielder dispatched his effort with aplomb.

      Counter-attacking football at its best – the game, the tie, the occasion in the Premier League International Cup, was once again Crystal Palace's.

      Who's up for a shot at revenge?

      Palace: Whitworth, Imray, Grehan (Watson, 31), Farquhar, Jemide, Devenny, Wells-Morrison (Reid, 87), Ozoh (Rodney, 45), Umeh (V. Williams, 83), Trialist, Rak-Sakyi (Mathurin, 45).

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Gibbard.

      Everton: Crellin (GK), Dixon, John, Welch, Onyango, Warrington, Armstrong, Butterfield (Djankpata 55), Kouyate (Catesby, 79), Metcalfe, Hunt.

      Subs not used: Barnsley (GK), Jones, Tierney, Bates, Patterson.