Tuesday 22 January 2019

Everton await draw for Europa play-offs

Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's calm finish kept Everton's bid for Europa League qualification on course as Ronald Koeman's men edged past Ruzomberok 1-0 in Slovakia.

England Under-20 star Calvert-Lewin spared the Toffees' blushes with a late strike in eastern Europe, that sealed Everton's 2-0 aggregate victory in the third qualifying round as they await today's play-off round draw.

Wayne Rooney again drew a blank in front of goal as he feels his way into his second Everton stint, but Koeman's side did just enough to progress.

A below-par Everton laboured for their win, but still conjured the one moment of class required to move into the Europa League play-off round.

Calvert-Lewin's smart goal added to Leighton Baines' first-leg strike to ensure Everton stepped further forward in European qualifying action.

While Calvert-Lewin added another reminder of his predatory instincts in club action, Everton and new boss Koeman will be hoping that Rooney can move quickly past the indifferent form that has punctuated his return to his boyhood club.

The 31-year-old is yet to hit his stride since his summer move from Manchester United. Despite the patchy team performance however, Koeman will be relieved his side have moved another step closer towards qualification for the Europa Leauge proper.

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