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      Report & Highlights: Young Palace side fall to Hoffenheim

      On a swelteringly hot 40°C Friday evening in Herriman, Utah, Crystal Palace Under-21s were overcome by TSG Hoffenheim Under-23s.


      • Darren Powell makes seven changes to the side that faced Real Monarchs

      • Both sides have early half-chances through set pieces

      • Hoffenheim take the lead just over 15 minutes in through Bogarde

      • Whitworth reacts well to deny Hoffenheim a second

      • HT: Hoffenheim 1-0 Palace

      • Palace start the second-half well, but can't find a breakthrough

      • Many changes around the hour-mark for both sides

      • Franco Umeh and Luke Plange combine well, though Palace still trail

      • Whitworth denies Hoffenheim once more after a breakaway

      • Breitenbucher doubles Hoffenheim’s lead in stoppage time

      • FT:  Hoffenheim 2-0 Palace

      U21 Match Highlights: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 Crystal Palace

      Just two days on from their opening game in the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, Crystal Palace Under-21s were back in action against TSG Hoffenheim Under-23s.

      Head coach Darren Powell made six changes to the side, naming a youthful side up against the more experienced German outfit.

      Both sides were limited to opportunities from set pieces in the opening 10 minutes of the game, though neither could fashion a clear chance.

      Hoffenheim took the lead with just over a quarter of an hour on the clock through Melayro Bogarde. A throw-in fell kindly for the German side and Bogarde raced towards the middle of the box and finished calmly to open the scoring.

      Palace looked to find a way back into the game, though they couldn’t quite muster any direct attempts on goal. Scott Banks, goalscorer in the previous game against Real Monarchs went on a surging run through the middle, though couldn’t find the finish.

      Banks also forced the ‘keeper into a fingertip save to turn his cross behind, while Luke Plange threatened down the left channel.

      Joe Whitworth was called into action to deny the German side from doubling their lead. The U21s’ No. 1 reacted well to deny Butler’s effort after he was played in behind.

      Palace went into the break a goal down, though they were by no means out of the game.

      After the interval, the Eagles started well in search of an equaliser. Seán Grehan headed just wide after a well-worked move down the right hand side, while Whitworth kept the deficit to one at the other end.

      At the hour-mark, it was all changes for both sides, with multiple substitutions occurring at once. Palace subs Dylan Reid and Caleb Kporha provided fresh legs and caused problems for the Hoffenheim defence, though there was still no equaliser in sight.

      Whitworth was once again called into action to keep Palace in the game, as he got down low to deny Hoffenheim on a breakaway with 10 minutes remaining.

      In stoppage time, the German side added a second goal through Nick Breitenbucher. The substitute cut inside from the right hand side and lashed a fierce effort into the back of the Palace net.

      It wasn’t to be for the young Eagles, as the referee brought an end to proceedings shortly after the Hoffenheim goal.

      Though it is another defeat, it was a crucial game to build the fitness levels of the side ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

      Hoffenheim: Petersson (GK), Butler, Schmahl, Konig, Mokwa, Drexler, Bogarde, Karatis, Mazagg, Fesenmeyer, Camara

      Subs: Werner (GK), Verstappen (GK), Breitenbucher, Hagmann, Lassig, Carnier, Kelati, Mulele, Obiogumu, Soerensen, Schulze, Kalambayi, Boff.

      Palace: Whitworth (GK), Grante (Jemide, 81), Sheridan (Cardines, 62), Grehan, Watson (Kporha, 62), Wells-Morrison (Rodney, 62), Raymond (Reid, 62), Nascimento (Umeh, 70), Banks (Akinwale, 62), Plange, Mooney (Obou, 62).

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