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      Report: Eze magic earns Palace draw with Sevilla in Detroit

      Crystal Palace
      Eze 75'
      Rakitic 44'

      An eye-catching performance capped by Ebere Eze’s second-half moment of magic earned Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw with Sevilla at Comerica Park in Detroit, with the Spaniards then winning a sudden death penalty shoot-out.


      • Palace make five changes for test against Europa League winners
      • Over 21,000 in attendance at electrifying Comerica Park in Detroit
      • Sevilla make inroads but Guehi and Ward defend stoutly
      • Eze spins and volleys over
      • Ayew stings the palms of Bono with rising strike
      • Eze drive forces Moroccan ‘keeper into low save
      • Rakitic puts Sevilla ahead on stroke of half-time with impressive half-volley
      • HT: Palace 0-1 Sevilla
      • Idrissi misses big chance to double Sevilla’s lead
      • Ward fires over from inventive Palace set-piece
      • Moment of magic from Eze brings Palace level on 74 minutes
      • Gudelj picks up second yellow card for Sevilla
      • Palace push for win but Sevilla hold firm
      • FT: Palace 1-1 Sevilla
      • Motor City Cup goes to sudden death penalty shoot-out
      • Rakitic converts and Andersen crashes against crossbar
      Extended Highlights: Crystal Palace 1-1 Sevilla | Palace TV+

      With Palace trailing to Ivan Rakitic’s rocket before half-time, Eze picked up the ball with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining and embarked on a superb solo run, weaving between three defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Marko Dimitrovic at the near post.

      In truth, it was the least Palace deserved – and they could have even secured victory after Nemanja Gudelj was sent off for Sevilla 10 minutes from the end – but the nature of their performance rendered moot a sudden-death penalty shoot-out defeat when Rakitic scored and Joachim Andersen hit the bar.

      In that respect, Palace’s penultimate pre-season fixture – up against serial UEFA Europa League winners and reigning champions in Sevilla – was highly encouraging.

      That it was played in the unique surroundings of Comerica Park, home to baseball side Detroit Tigers and transformed for the fixture, only added to the occasion.

      Just over 21,000 eager fans were in attendance and gave manager Roy Hodgson and his team a warm welcome, in keeping with the wonderful hospitality they had hitherto shown the club.

      The contest started at a fast pace, with Argentina international Lucas Ocampos seeing plenty of the ball early on for Sevilla and Marc Guéhi and Joel Ward both forced to make last-ditch interventions inside the penalty area.

      Palace had their own inspirational attacker at the other end, however, and Eze provided an early glimpse of what was to come when a delightful flick from Ward’s cross teed up a chance to spin and shoot – albeit, off-balance this time, over the bar.

      The Eagles looked particularly sharp on the counter-attack and could have gone ahead when Jordan Ayew won possession on the halfway line. Collecting, Odsonne Edouard drove forward and fed the Ghana forward on the overlap, and his stinging drive took Sevilla ‘stopper Bono two attempts to gather with Edouard following in.

      Moments later came Palace’s closest moment of the half when Eze’s fierce low shot from the edge of the box forced Bono into an impressive full-stretch save; Jeffrey Schlupp was called offside from the follow-up.

      But for all of Palace’s good work, Sevilla still possessed a man capable of changing the course of games in veteran Croatia campaigner Ivan Rakitic, and it was his brilliant half-volley – following a half-cleared corner, but no-less inspired – which put the Spaniards ahead on the stroke of half-time.

      With manager Roy Hodgson keen to give his players minutes ahead of their Premier League opener in two weeks’ time, no substitutions were made at half-time – or, indeed, at all, as all eleven starters concluded the game on the pitch and unscathed.

      Sevilla’s best chance of the half fell to Oussama Idrissi shortly after play resumed, but the forward skewed a far-post finish into the side-netting when the ball reached him in space.

      Palace continued to create themselves, an inventive set-piece seeing Eze square for Ward to curl an effort narrowly over the bar.

      But despite continuing to turn up the pressure and certainly playing the better football in the second half, it was Eze’s brilliance which got the crowd – with whom he had been a popular figure all game – on their feet, dancing along to a celebratory light show.

      Gudelj’s second yellow card arrived minutes later as the Sevilla defender dragged back the England attacker, but despite continuing to press, Palace could not find the winner they deserved.

      And despite their defeat in the rather unorthodox manner of a sudden death penalty shoot-out – despite a lengthy pause, only two penalties were actually taken – it counted for little after Palace largely outplayed a side of great ability, on a celebratory occasion for the club's wider fanbase.

      Palace: Johnstone (GK); Ward, Andersen, Guéhi, Clyne, Lerma, Doucouré, Eze, Schlupp, Edouard, Ayew

      Subs: Matthews (GK); O’Brien, Tomkins, Richards, Rïedewald, Ahamada, Mateta, Gordon, Rak-Sakyi

      As It Happened