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      Report & Highlights: Eze stunner and Mooney penalty sees Palace past Whitecaps

      Crystal Palace Under-21s ended their run in the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational with a win on penalties against Vancouver Whitecaps 2. Chima Eze’s stunning strike in the second-half along with Fionn Mooney’s winning penalty in the shoot-out saw them sign off from Salt Lake City on a high.


      • Darren Powell makes five changes to the side which faced Hoffenheim

      • Palace start the half brightly, creating a number of chances

      • Jack Wells-Morrison sees an effort cleared off the line

      • Joe Sheridan keeps the scores level before half-time

      • HT: Whitecaps 0-0 Palace

      • Wells-Morrison strikes the crossbar from 20 yards out

      • Vancouver Whitecaps score on the counter just moments later

      • Wells-Morrison clears an effort off the line

      • Chima Eze levels for Palace with a stunning strike in the 72nd minute

      • Jackson Izquierdo pulls off a fingertip save in the 92nd minute to keep Palace in it

      • FT:  Whitecaps 1-1 Palace

      • The game went to penalties to decide a winner, as per MLS NEXT Pro rules

      • Penalties: Whitecaps 3-4 Palace

      • Fionn Mooney scored the decisive penalty to win the game for Palace

      U21 Match Highlights: Vancouver 1-1 Crystal Palace (4-3 Pens)

      Four days on from the defeat to Hoffenheim, Crystal Palace Under-21s lined up for their final game of the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational against Vancouver Whitecaps 2.

      Head coach Darren Powell made five changes to the side, with Jackson Izquierdo, Caleb Kporha, Dylan Reid, Franco Umeh and Ademola Ola-Adebomi all coming into the squad.

      Palace got off to a flying start, dominating the ball and creating a number of chances early on. Ademola Ola-Adebomi was causing problems pressing from the front, while both Franco Umeh and Adler Nascimento were getting in behind with the help of their full-backs.

      Captain Jack Wells-Morrison was orchestrating attacks from the centre of the park, and came close to giving Palace the lead. The ball broke kindly to him in the box and his strike beat the ‘keeper, but couldn’t beat the defender on the line who turned it away.

      After the interval, Palace were on the front foot in search of a goal to break the deadlock. After being brought down, Wells-Morrison stepped up from 20-yards out and fired a free-kick goal bound which rattled back out off the crossbar.

      Just moments after the south Lononders hit the woodwork, the Whitecaps broke away and managed to take the lead. Second-half substitute Lowell Wright slotted the Canadian side ahead inside the box just before the hour-mark.

      Wells-Morrison was at the forefront of all the action. After seeing his own strike cleared off the line in the first-half, he himself managed to turn away an acrobatic effort on the goalline following a Whitecaps corner.

      With just under 20 minutes remaining, Palace substitute Chima Eze picked up the ball from Rio Cardines out wide and drifted towards the edge of the box. He took a touch to set himself and struck a sensational effort which curled in past a marooned Max Anchor in the Whitecaps goal.

      Cardines almost went from provider to match winner late on, after finding space on the right and getting a shot away which was parried behind by the ‘keeper. Scott Banks, coming on as a late substitute, also saw an effort saved in time added on.

      Jackson Izquierdo, in his first game of the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, made an outstanding fingertip save to deny a long-range strike from finding the top corner in the final few seconds of stoppage time to take the game to penalties.

      In line with the competitions rules, the game has to have a winner and the sides duly stepped up from 12-yards. The Canadian side took the lead with their first penalty, before Wells-Morrison levelled.

      Palace were given a chance at taking the lead and Scott Banks did so with ease, before Luke Plange made it 3-2 to the south Londoners. At 3-3, Victor Akinwale unfortunately saw his effort saved, though Vancouver couldn’t capitalise as they hit the post.

      It was all down to Fionn Mooney to score Palace’s fifth penalty and claim the victory, and he calmly slotted home into the side netting to end Palace’s pre-season run in the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational on a high.

      The side will return to south London in preparation to face Bromley on Tuesday, 1st August.

      Whitecaps: Anchor (GK), Ilic (Bah, 45), Dasovic (Ndakala, 45), Linder, Gherasimencov (Coupland, 45), Johnston (Masi, 450, Aguilar (Fry, 45), Greco-Taylor, Hanson, Amanda (Wright, 45), Habibullah.

      Sub not used: Park.

      Palace: Izquierdo (GK), Kporha (Jemide, 63), Sheridan (Grante, 63), Grehan, Watson (Cardines, 39 (Banks, 89)), Wells-Morrison, Reid, Raymond (Mooney, 63), Umeh (Eze, 63), Ola-Adebomi (Akinwale, 45), Nascimento (Plange, 77).

      Sub not used: Eastwood (GK).