Palace beat PSV Jong to lift Premier League International Cup

16 May 2024
Palace U21s PL International Cup

Manager Darren Powell hails "massive" result as young Eagles secure narrow 1-0 win

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Crystal Palace were crowned Premier League International Cup winners for the first time, beating reigning champions PSV Jong 1-0 in a repeat of last year's final at Selhurst Park.

The Premier League International Cup, now in its 10th year, features 12 of England's best Academy sides against 12 of the top development squads in the rest of Europe.

Franco Umeh’s deflected second-half strike and a superb defensive display ensured sweet revenge for Palace, who suffered a 3-1 extra-time loss to PSV in last season's final.

“It’s massive, massive [for the club] – and for the players as well,” head coach Darren Powell told Palace's official club website. "I say for the players, but coming here last year and losing the final… we couldn't do it again. We couldn't do it again, and that was the mantra.

“It wasn't our best performance, but we were up against a really good side. They were a really good side last year, and again, they've just got very good players. And then we rode our luck, yes, but that's football."

Palace were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Whitworth in a goalless first half as their newly-crowned U21s Player of the Year  produced a string of stunning saves, the pick of which was pushing Tai Abed's curling effort onto the underside of the crossbar.

A rather more even second half produced chances at both ends before Palace took the lead on 67 minutes, Umeh slotting home with a large deflection off Matteo Dams after a neat one-two between Roshaun Mathurin and Justin Devenny.

PSV, who came into the final off the back of a season of senior football in the Dutch third division, pressed hard for an equaliser to take the match into extra time, but could find no way through a well-drilled Palace defence.

“The boys showed maturity as well," added Powell. "And again, in order to see games out like this, you've got to have a bit of character, and the mentality was right.

"The boys, all of them, put themselves on the line and managed to get across the line as well, so it was massive."

Man Utd crowned U18 Premier League national champions

Just 24 hours prior, Manchester United Under-18s were crowned U18 Premier League national champions with a 2-1 win at Chelsea, securing a domestic treble.

Ethan Williams scored one goal and set up another for Ethan Wheatley either side of Josh Acheampong's header to secure victory at Stamford Bridge.

See: Man Utd match report

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