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U15s Report: Ten-man Palace finish runners-up of National Floodlit Cup

On a grey Friday evening at the Loughborough University Stadium, the ten men of Crystal Palace fell to Sunderland in the Under 15 national Floodlit Cup final.

Summary

  • Palace were on top in the opening exchanges, creating a number of chances

  • Enrique Lameiras put Palace ahead a quarter of an hour in

  • Sunderland levelled through a Christopher Rigg free-kick three minutes before the break

  • Palace’s Leon Elliott was sent off just before half-time

  • Half-time: Sunderland 1-1 Crystal Palace

  • The young Eagles reclaimed the lead through Lameiras’ second

  • Sunderland equalised with four minutes to go

  • Full-time: Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace

  • Aaron Chungh put Sunderland ahead from a corner in the 88th minute

  • Half-time in extra time: Sunderland 3-2 Crystal Palace

  • Sunderland added their fourth straight after the restart in the second-half of extra time through Trey Ogunsunyi

  • Full-time after extra time: Sunderland 4-2 Crystal Palace

U15 Floodlit Cup Highlights: Sunderland 4-2 Crystal Palace

The Floodlit Cup is an U15 tournament that is designed to provide an experience of playing matches in the evening in tricky conditions. It’s part of the Premier League's Youth Development Phase, to ensure the players are prepared for similar situations as they progress up the ranks.

The young Eagles compete in the U15 Floodlit Cup each season and they last won it in 2019, with a number of familiar names such as Jack Wells-Morrison, Tayo Adaramola and Ademola Ola-Adebomi part of the winning squad.

Palace saw off Brighton, Millwall and Charlton in the earlier group stage of the tournament. They then overcame Arsenal, Aston Villa and most recently Watford in the Regional final to reach the national final.

Dave Coopers’ Eagles were on top on the opening exchanges. Enrique Lameiras worked the ball well down the left hand side and put a ball across the box to Tyler White who fired just over the bar.

With five minutes gone, the young Eagles won back to back corners. They managed to fashion a chance through Zack Henry on the edge of the box, though his curling effort went narrowly wide of the post.

Henry turned provider as Palace opened the scoring a quarter of an hour in. He played a perfectly weighted through ball to Lameiras, who broke in behind the Sunderland defence and slotted home with ease past Matthew Young in the Sunderland goal.

The Black Cats looked to find a way back into the game immediately, and nearly did so through Mason Cotcher, though Marcus Hill in the Palace goal was equal to his shot at the near post.

Sunderland’s attempts to find an equaliser were realised just over three minutes before the interval. Christopher Rigg stepped up with a free-kick from 20-yards out and managed to beat the wall and ‘keeper with the help off the crossbar.

The two sides went into the break level, however, just before first-half stoppage time, Palace’s Leon Elliott was sent off.

Remarkably, the 10-men of Palace were on the front foot after the break. Centre-back George King turned and shot inside the box during the second phase of a Palace corner, though his effort was just wide of the mark.

Captain Eyimofe Jemide came close to putting the young Eagles ahead near the hour mark, with his header cleared off the line and on to the post after a Jesse Derry corner.

Palace did in fact take the lead with 15 minutes remaining, Lameiras got on the end of a cross from Gabriel Bonsu-Amako to head home his second goal of the game from close range.

The young Eagles had to hold on to their lead with man disadvantage, but Sunderland managed to equalise five minutes from time. Cotcher broke into the box and finished on his right foot.

The referee brought an end to proceedings with the scores level after 80 minutes, which meant the game progressed into extra time.

Sunderland made the man advantage count in extra time, as they dominated the ball and created more chances. A looping effort from substitute Layton Campbell was well saved by Hill, but moments later they took the lead for the first time in the game through Aaron Chungh.

The first-half of extra time came to an end with Sunderland ahead, and straight after the restart for the second-half of extra time they managed to open a two goal lead through Trey Ogunsunyi.

It was a valiant effort from the young Eagles, but Sunderland managed to see the game out and they were crowned U15 Floodlit Cup national champions.

Sunderland: Young, Kindon, Parker (Neild, 60), Whittaker (Campbell, 70), Hood, Breeze, Chungh (Bayet, 97), Jones, Cotcher, Rigg, Ogunsuyi.

Subs not used: Metcalf, Dewer, Lightfoot, Naylor.

Crystal Palace: Hill, White, Bonsu-Amako, Adams-Collman (Holmes, 79), Jemide, Elliott, Henry (Redhead, 75), Williams (Cowin, 96), King, Lameiras, Derry (Dashi, 85).

Subs not used: Koshaba, Beaumont, Omobalaji.