West Brom 0-2 Crystal Palace: Frank De Boer’s side win third-place play-offBet365
Crystal Palace beat West Brom 2-0 in Hong Kong on Saturday to finish third in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Luka Milivojevic put Palace in front after 11 minutes with a fine curling free-kick following good work by the excellent Wilfried Zaha.
Bakary Sako grabbed their second just before half-time (43) and Frank De Boer’s side held off a late West Brom rally to secure third place in the pre-season tournament.
The Eagles controlled the first half but the opening chance fell to West Brom’s Salomon Rondon, who nodded over at the back post on three minutes.
The lively Zaha was at the heart of Palace’s sharp attacking play and he won the free-kick from which Milivojevic put them ahead.
The Serbian’s super free-kick took a slight deflection off Jake Livermore but looked on course to nestle into the corner regardless.
The Baggies suffered another setback when captain Jonny Evans was forced off with an ankle injury, although the substitution looked precautionary.
Rondon forced a smart save from Wayne Hennessey before Palace doubled their lead in fortunate fashion, Sako’s tame strike from distance taking a double deflection off Ahmed Hegazi and Craig Dawson.
Albion improved after the interval and created several clear goalscoring opportunities, with new signing Ahmed Hegazi guilty of squandering a golden chance on 48 minutes.
He smashed over the bar from close range after Joel Ward failed to clear a Matt Phillips free-kick.
Substitute goalkeeper Julian Speroni played his part in preserving Palace’s clean sheet, making a fine stop from Phillips moments later.
The Palace stopper also made saves from Rondon and youngster Tyler Roberts, while James McClean fired narrowly over the bar from 18 yards.
It was a bad-tempered friendly with several running battles across the pitch, with Zaha in particular on the end of rough treatment from Allan Nyom.
West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob was also spoken to by the referee after a late challenge on Milivojevic, with the pair exchanging words at half-time.
Man of the match: Wilfried Zaha
The winger was exceptional in the first half and won the set-piece for Palace’s opener. He skipped past two challenges in the build-up before Dawson unceremoniously ended his run on the edge of the area.
On the end of several mistimed tackles by Nyom, he largely kept his composure and looked his side’s main threat.
West Brom return to the United Kingdom to face Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium on Wednesday, while Palace head to France to face Metz next Saturday.Euro Soccer Bonus
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