Athletic Under-21s draw against Crystal Palace

Athletic Under-21s draw against Crystal Palace

Carlos Gurpegui's side drew 1-1 in London in the first of four matches against English teams in the Premier League International Cup

Athletic Club Under-21s, essentially a mix of Bilbao Athletic and Basconia, drew 1-1 against Crystal Palace Under-21s in our first match of the 2023 Premier League International Cup.

The home side took the lead in the first half through a header from captain Sean Grehan before Aimar Duñabeitia headed in from a corner to equalise in the second half.

Iñigo Lopez fired the first warning shot of the evening, but his attempt from the edge of the box was well saved by Palace keeper Joe Whitworth. Soon after, Athletic had a great chance to open the scoring when defender Chris Francis slipped, but team-mate Seán Grehan was on the line to block Elijah Gift's shot at close-range.

Palace responded with a Justin Devenny effort that hit the woodwork. Just before half-time, the home side took the lead with a header from captain Grehan in the six-yard box. The Englishmen could have added to their lead before the break, but Hindolo Mustapha's shot was tipped over the crossbar.

Athletic came out determined to find an equaliser in the second half and had their first chance when Gift almost beat Whitworth. The Cubs stepped up a gear after the break. Duñabeitia headed home from a corner to level the scores. The Zurigorri could have turned the score around through López, but the Palace keeper denied him in a one-on-one.

The opening match of Group C eventually ended all square . In yesterday's other fixture, Monaco beat Liverpool 1-2. Rounding out Matchday 1 are Fulham vs Benfica and Everton vs Feyenoord, with the Cubs' next game against Everton in Liverpool on Wednesday, October 25.