BY SAM SMITH
Wilfried Zaha scored his third goal in four pre-season appearances, but Crystal Palace were held to a 1-1 draw by Danish Superliga side Brondby IF.
The forward scored late in the second half in the final outing for Roy Hodgson’s side before they begin the 2020-21 Premier League campaign next weekend at home to Southampton.
Both sides went close early in the first half. Jeffrey Schlupp struck straight at goalkeeper Martin Schwabe before seeing a better chance from close range deflect wide.
The visitors initially struggled against the trickery of Zaha and Jordan Ayew but soon settled into the game. They pressed high up the pitch and had their fair share of scoring opportunities – most notably when Mikael Uhre headed over Vicente Guaita’s goal.
Palace eventually led when they won possession in Brondby’s half and Ayew fed Zaha. The Ivorian cut inside before wrong-footing Schwabe with his effort, lifting the ball high into the left-hand side of the net.
Ayew should have extended that lead after half-time but was too casual having raced through on goal. The Ghanaian dummied to fool Schwabe, but somehow dinked his effort well wide from six yards.
Zaha and Schlupp also went close to scoring a second but Brondby took advantage of the slack finishing. Guaita had already made an excellent save to deny Peter Nicolai Kruse Bjur, before substitute Jesper Lindstrom volleyed in following a cross from the left.
Luka Milivojevic earned his first minutes of pre-season, replacing James McArthur at half-time and curled a wonderful effort from distance just wide for the Eagles, who could not find a late winner.
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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