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      Report & Highlights: Akinwale fires Palace into PL International Cup semi-final

      Liverpool U21
      Crystal Palace U21
      Akinwale 34'

      On a cold rainy Friday night in Kirkby, Crystal Palace Under-21s successfully overcame Liverpool in the Premier League International Cup. A well-taken goal from Victor Akinwale in the first-half was enough to see the Eagles progress into the semi-finals of the competition.


      • Darren Powell took charge of the Under-21s for the first time

      • Owen Goodman, Kofi Balmer and Danny Imray all returned to the side

      • Goodman reacted well to stop Dominic Corness’ effort in the 7th minute

      • Ademola Ola-Adebomi hit the woodwork 18 minutes in

      • Halfway through the first-half, Tayo Adaramola saw his effort deflected just wide

      • In the 33rd minute, Victor Akinwale put Palace ahead

      • Noah Watson and Imray combined well to deny an equaliser from Luca Stephenson late on in the half

      • Half-time: Liverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace

      • Ben Doak threatened early on in the second-half for Liverpool, but couldn’t beat Goodman

      • Play was intermittently broken up due to injuries and cramp on both sides

      • Palace withstood a lot of Liverpool pressure in the closing stages, but held on to progress to the semi-finals

      • Full-time: Liverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace

      PL International Cup Highlights: Liverpool 0-1 Palace

      Two weeks on from their 2-0 triumph over Arsenal in the league, Crystal Palace Under-21s resumed their campaign in the Premier League International Cup. They travelled to Merseyside to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the tournament, having advanced from their group with a last-gasp victory over Sporting Braga in February.

      There were three changes to the side which beat the Gunners: Owen Goodman returned between the sticks for Jackson Izquierdo, while Danny Imray and Kofi Balmer came in for Seán Grehan and first-team defender Nathan Ferguson. Darren Powell was also now in charge of the side, as Paddy McCarthy was appointed assistant manager of the first-team.

      Chances were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes. The hosts’ best chance came through their skipper Dominic Corness - though his long range effort was no problem for Goodman in the Palace goal.

      The Eagles enjoyed more of the ball than Liverpool and managed to work openings through the wing-backs. Danny Imray set up Ademola Ola-Adebomi inside the box with a dinked cross, but the Palace No. 9 rattled the corner of post and bar with his side footed effort.

      While Imray threatened down the right, Tayo Adaramola did the same down the left and nearly managed to put Palace ahead halfway through the first-half. The Ireland U21 international was picked out in space on the edge of the box by Jack Wells-Morrison, he duly cut inside and fired an effort on goal with his weaker right foot that deflected out narrowly

      Palace made their dominance count shortly after the half-hour mark. Victor Akinwale, who scored the winner the last time these two sides met, was picked out by a long ball over the top from Goodman. He held off Billy Koumetio’s attempted header and managed to race in behind to calmly slot past Marcelo Pitaluga to break the deadlock.

      It was a deserved lead, though Liverpool now had the bit between their teeth as they looked to find a way back into the game. Astute defending from Noah Watson and Imray kept two quickfire attempts at goal from Luca Stephenson at bay just before the half-time whistle.

      The momentum carried over for the hosts after the interval. Ben Doak, who has previously featured in the Liverpool first-team, threatened early on in the half with two efforts of his own from a narrow angle - one hit the side netting and the other Goodman turned behind with a reaction save.

      Liverpool enjoyed more of the ball in the second-half, but couldn’t fashion many chances of note aside from Doak’s efforts. Play was intermittently broken up throughout the half as players from both sides went down through cramp and injury.

      Palace found themselves under a lot of Liverpool pressure with 10 minutes remaining, however they stood firm to deny multiple efforts from second-half substitutes Owen Beck and Harvey Blair.

      The final flourish of chances at the death for Liverpool saw multiple claims for handball which ultimately fell on deaf ears. Palace saw out the six minutes of time added on due to the stoppages earlier in the half and managed to progress into the semi-final of the Premier League International Cup.

      Liverpool: Pitaluga (GK), Koumetio, Corness, Norris, Jonas, Olufunwa (Beck, 68), Stephenson, Woltman (Blair, 76), Doak, Stewart, Clark.

      Subs not used: Hughes (GK), Koumas, McConnell.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman (GK), Imray, Balmer, Rodney, Watson, Adaramola, Ozoh, Raymond (Mooney, 90+4), Wells-Morrison, Akinwale (Omilabu, 90+1), Ola-Adebomi.

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Addae, Sheridan, Vigor, Cadogan.

      Photos: Nick Taylor/LFC