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.