Skip navigation
Crystal palace

      Report & Highlights: Monarchs overcome Palace in tough pre-season encounter

      Crystal Palace Under-21s fell to defeat at the hands of Real Monarchs in their first game of the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational.


      • Darren Powell names a strong side, with Luke Plange starting

      • Monarchs put Palace under pressure early on

      • Luke Plange narrowly fires over the bar 20 minutes in

      • Scott Banks' free-kick put Palace ahead half an hour in

      • Victor Akinwale’s goal is ruled out for offside six minutes later

      • HT: Monarchs 0-1 Palace

      • Monarchs equalise shortly after the restart through Bertin Jacquesson

      • Plange heads wide from a corner on the hourmark

      • Owen Anderson scores to put the Monarchs ahead in the 83rd minute

      • FT: Monarchs 2-1 Palace

      U21 Match Highlights: Real Monarchs 2-1 Crystal Palace

      Amidst the thunder and lightning in Utah, Crystal Palace Under-21s got their preparations for the 2023/24 season underway against Real Monarchs - the youth team of MLS side Real Salt Lake.

      This was the side's first game of the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational tournament, and they got off to a tricky start. A physical affair saw a number of fouls given early on for both sides.

      Noah Watson headed wide after getting a glancing header on a Scott Banks free-kick just four minutes in, while the hosts had an effort on the edge of the box that struck the wall.

      Palace nearly took the lead in the 20th minute - excellent pressing high up the pitch saw Jack Wells-Morrison and Rio Cardines combine to set up Luke Plange, who cut inside from the left and saw his effort saved.

      Plange had another chance just moments later and fired narrowly over the bar after an incisive Palace counter-attack.

      With just over half an hour gone, Scott Banks curled Palace ahead with an outstanding free-kick from 20-yards out. The Scottish international was initially brought down after playing a ball into the path of Victor Akinwale, however he picked himself up and managed to find the top corner with ease.

      The Eagles were almost two goals to the good six minutes later, as Akinwale found the back of the net from a rebound, though he was adjudged to be offside.

      Palace went into the break a goal to the good, though it was all about to change as the sides re emerged under the lights for the second-half.

      Real Monarchs were on the front-foot early on after the restart and the ball broke to Bode Hidalgo who squared it across into the path of Bertin Jacquesson who finished with a first-time shot on goal.

      The south Londoners nearly reclaimed the lead on the hour-mark, though Plange headed just wide of the mark from a corner kick and Akinwale saw his diving header saved by Gavin Beavers in the Monarchs’ goal.

      A shift in formation and personnel in the second-half saw the intensity of the game die down from the fast-paced nature of the first-half and play was periodically broken up with fouls from both sides.

      Real Monarchs managed to take the lead late on in the game through Owen Anderson. The second-half substitute found himself in the right place at the right time to pounce on the rebound after Joe Whitworth initially saved Ilijah Paul’s shot on goal.

      In the time that remained, Palace couldn’t find an equaliser. A tough one to take for Darren Powell’s side, having gone ahead in the first-half, but a good experience for the side overall as they build up their fitness levels for the new campaign.

      Palace: Whitworth (GK), Rodney (Eze, 84), Phillips (Grante, 45), Watson, Cardines (Jemide, 67), Reid (Raymond, 67), Wells-Morrison (Nascimento, 67), Plange (Obou, 67), Banks (Ola-Adebomi, 67), Umeh, Akinwale (Mooney, 67).

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Eastwood (GK).

      Monarchs: Beavers (GK), Palacio (Sinclair, 70), Hidalgo (B. Pierre, 70), D. Pierre, Paul, Jacquesson, Nyeman, Gómez (Dillon, 70), Iskendarian (Anderson, 71), Strolie (Rivera, 71), Nigro.

      Subs not used: Amparo, Berrios, Chan, Madlangrove.