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      Report & Highlights: Mathurin and Ola-Adebomi fire Palace past Benfica

      Crystal Palace U21
      Mathurin 10'
      Ola-Adebomi 57'
      Benfica U21
      Pereira Sousa Varela 59'

      Crystal Palace Under-21s returned to the top of Group C in the Premier League International Cup with a strong display against SL Benfica. Goals from the in-form Roshaun Mathurin and Ademola Ola-Adebomi, combined with a solid defensive display, saw the side claim all three points.


      • Darren Powell named the same starting XI for the third successive game

      • Palace withstand early Benfica pressure

      • Mathurin puts Palace ahead inside the opening 10 minutes

      • Benfica hit the post immediately after Palace take the lead

      • Whitworth makes a strong stop to deny Domingues

      • HT: Palace 1-0 Benfica

      • Benfica start the second-half brightly

      • Ola-Adebomi doubles the lead for Palace just before the hour-mark

      • Varela pulls one back for Benfica a couple of minutes later

      • Grehan and Sheridan combine to deny Benfica on the line

      • Whitworth pulls off a reaction save in stoppage time

      • Parente is shown a second yellow card just before the final whistle

      • FT: Palace 2-1 Benfica

      International Cup Highlights: Crystal Palace 2-1 SL Benfica

      Just four days on from the 3-0 victory over reigning Premier League 2 champions Manchester City, Crystal Palace Under-21s welcomed SL Benfica U21s to south London as they continued their campaign in the Premier League International Cup.

      Head coach Darren Powell named an unchanged starting XI for the third successive game in a row, with Joe Whitworth continuing in goal and the in-form Ademola Ola-Adebomi leading the line.

      The Portuguese Eagles enjoyed a lot of the ball early on, creating chances right from the off and earning a succession of corners. They failed to make their early pressure count, as Palace took the lead in the eighth minute.

      After winning the ball back off of Antonio Muanza, Danny Imray raced forward down the right hand side and linked up well with Jack Wells-Morrison. The ball was worked across to Kaden Rodney, who in turn found Roshaun Mathurin in acres of space inside the box.

      The Palace No. 10 made no mistake, rifling in past Ricardo Ribeiro at the near post, for his seventh goal of the season.

      Benfica almost equalised immediately from kick-off, with Francisco Domingues whipping in a cross which Gustavo Varela met with his head. The forward’s header cannoned back off the post and the ball was eventually cleared away.

      Quickly down the other end, a raking cross-field ball from Imray found Ola-Adebomi and the Palace striker fired a fierce shot on goal that was parried into the path of Franco Umeh. He unfortunately fired over the bar from close range.

      Umeh again nearly doubled Palace’s advantage, though his curling effort from distance went narrowly over.

      Benfica were determined to find an equaliser in the first-half, however the Palace defence stood firm. Whitworth made a fine stop to deny a strong shot from Domingues after a well-worked move. Just before the break, Imray put in a perfectly timed sliding challenge to deny Domingues once again.

      After the interval, Benfica kept their momentum and peppered shots on Palace’s goal. Their intent to level saw them vulnerable on the counter, and that proved to be exactly how the Eagles doubled their lead 10 minutes into the half.

      David Ozoh played it out towards Umeh on the right as Palace broke away on a counter, and Umeh in turn fed the onrushing Imray on the overlap. He squared it across into the path of Ola-Adebomi, inside the six-yard box, who couldn’t miss from close range.

      The south Londoner’s two-goal cushion didn’t last long as Varela pulled one back for Benfica two minutes after Ola-Adebomi’s goal. José Marques was played through and managed to cut it back across the box for Varela to finish.

      Attack after attack for Benfica was snuffed out by the stalwart Palace defence. Centre-back duo Seán Grehan and Joe Sheridan combined well to deny the visitors, with the prior clearing off the line and the latter blocking a follow up effort moments after a corner.

      Second-half substitute Victor Akinwale had a golden opportunity to seal all three points, finding himself one on one after being played in on yet another breakaway, but Ribeiro did well to spread himself and deny him.

      In stoppage time, Whitworth was called into action once more as he made a fantastic reaction save to deny the visitors after a scramble from a corner. On the counter following the save, Akinwale was brought down on the edge of the box and Tiago Parente was shown a second yellow card.

      The last kick of the game from Akinwale on the resulting free-kick, was narrowly wide of the mark. Victory over Benfica means Powell’s side return to the top of Group C, one clear of Everton and four ahead of Fulham and Monaco.

      Palace: Whitworth (GK), Imray, Grehan, Sheridan, Adaramola, Rodney, Ozoh, Wells-Morrison, Mathurin (Watson, 70), Ola-Adebomi, Umeh (Akinwale, 83).

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Reid, Raymond, Francis, Devenny.

      Benfica: Ribeiro (GK), Marques (Batista, 70), Sequeira, Prioste, Domingues (Zambrano, 83), Lacroix (Luis, 45), Varela, Muller, Parente, Jevsenak, Muanza.

      Sub not used: Moreira (GK).