Crystal Palace Under-21s crowned Premier League International Cup champions after victory over PSV

Franco Umeh, who scored the only goal of the final against PSV (Getty Images)
Franco Umeh, who scored the only goal of the final against PSV (Getty Images)

Crystal Palace’s Under-21s have been crowned Premier League International Cup winners for the first time, after a 1-0 win over reigning champions PSV Eindhoven Under-21s in Wednesday’s final at Selhurst Park.

Victory, secured by Franco Umeh’s deflected second-half effort, offered revenge of a sort for the likes of Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and David Ozoh, who were part of the Palace U21s side that last year lost to PSV in the final.

The competition was formed in the 2014/15 season and pits 12 of England’s best academy sides against 12 of the best from across Europe. Previous winners include Bayern Munich, Porto B (twice), and inaugural champions Manchester City.

Palace faced an onslaught in the first half at Selhurst Park, indebted to their goalkeeper and captain Joe Whitworth for a string of top stops.

Mohamed Nassoh and Tai Abed Kassus both went close for PSV, with the former taking on a number of speculative efforts and Whitworth required to tip one fine strike up, against the crossbar and away.

A rather more even second half saw playmaker Roshaun Mathurin and right-back Danny Imray impress for Darren Powell’s side, who scored the game’s only goal when Mathurin pulled back and Umeh slotted home via a sizeable deflection.

Palace chairman Steve Parish and in-demand sporting director Dougie Freedman were both in attendance as they watched on from the Selhurst Park directors’ box.