Exactly what happened and who impressed as Sunderland U23s beaten on penalties by Crystal Palace
Sunderland under-23s are potentially just ninety minutes away from promotion - as they head to Crystal Palace in the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-off final.
The Black Cats beat Stoke City in their semi-final tie last week to set-up a clash against the Eagles at Selhurst Park.
And the two sides will lock horns this evening looking to claim promotion to the top tier of Premier League 2 – joining the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Elliott Dickman will once again be able to call upon the likes of Josh Hakwes, Oliver Younger and Dan Neil for the clash, and Sunderland will no doubt be buoyed by the fact they defeated Palace earlier this season.
So can they repeat the trick on the big stage?
Mark Donnelly will be at the game for the Echo, providing live updates and analysis from the big under-23 promotion showdown:
FT: Crystal Palace 0-0 Sunderland U23s (Crystal Palace win 5-3 on penalties)
Last updated: Monday, 24 May, 2021, 19:19
- Sunderland’s under-23 side face Crystal Palace in the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-off final this evening
- The Black Cats will gain promotion if they can claim victory at Selhurst Park (7pm)
- Elliott Dickman could call upon a similar side to that which beat Stoke City last week.
The two teams are back down the tunnel...
And kick-off is just a few moments away here.
Stick with us for live updates throughout the big game!
Here we go!
The two teams are out at Selhurst Park - Sunderland greeted with boss, while Palace enter to a large roar from the home faithful, who have gathered in fair numbers this evening.
It will once again be Michael Proctor and Stuart English in the dugout for Sunderland tonight, although Elliott Dickman is in the stands.
1 - Aaaaaaand we’re off!
Sunderland get us started!
3 - Palace have begun brightly
Roared on by a very vocal home crowd, it’s Palace who have started on the front foot here.
They’ve had two early corners, the first of which Sunderland could only put behind before Anthony Patterson rose well to claim the second.
8 - A better spell from Sunderland
The Black Cats have seen plenty more of the ball in the last few minutes but are yet to really make any inroads.
Palace are content to sit back and let the visitors knock it around the back four - and it’s noticeable how quickly Palace are closing down Josh Hawkes any time he gets a sniff.
Still goalless here.
9 - CHANCE!
The first opening of the game falls to Sunderland.
Dunne bursts down the left flank and swings in a wicked cross - which catches out Webber and floats towards the back post.
Harris is there, but he just can’t connect and the delivery drifts out.
13 - The Black Cats playing with some confidence here
Sunderland are keeping possession well and have kept Palace at a distance in the early stages of the game.
Chances are still proving elusive though, in what has been a pretty cagey start to this play-off final.
14 - A sight of goal for Palace...
Street receives the ball in the box with his back to goal and manages to take down the cross before getting a shot away.
His effort is well-struck, but Younger gets a crucial limb in the way to divert the effort over.
17 - CHANCE!
A first sight of goal for Hawkes!
Wilding threads the ball forward to the attacker who moves the ball into space before firing at goal from 20 yards.
It’s a good strike, but always rising.
20 - Still goalless here
But Sunderland have come close on a couple of occasions...