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Venue: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 Saturday 25 July 2009; 7:48pm
River Plate 
Ortega (27')
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 15,800
Friendly 3
Referee: Maurizio Navaro

Match Summary

A rather warm summer's evening in Edmonton saw Everton, representing England, taking on River Plate of Argentina; in contention: the Edmonton Cup.  The exhibition match was set up to honour the 100th anniversary of the Alberta Soccer Association. A sparsely populated stadium (capacity: 60,081) saw Everton struggle against their illustrious South American opponents,

An interesting formation, with Nash in goal and Baxter involved; Neville, Saha and Vaughan on the bench.

A cagey game to start with, each side, feeling each other out. River Plate had an early chance in the 10th minute as Cristian Villagra fought off a defender and lofted a pass in tight to Archubi but Nash was able to bat away the header.

Argie Bargie? You said it.  Fisticuffs after 20m mins... hilarious! The Toffees responded with a tremendous chance of their own in the 20th minute as forward Jo undressed River Plate's Nicolas Donigo with some nifty footwork and sent the ball to Cahill in front, but he was thwarted by a diving save from Argentine goalie Mario Daniel Vega.

But on 27 mins, Ortega broke, brushed aside Lescott as if he wasn't even there. and chipped Nash superbly into the top corner: 1-0 to the Argies.  After Ortega's goal, River Plate came looking for more in the 34th minute as Villagra sent a pass through the Everton defence with Nash out of the play, but none of his teammates were able to get to the loose ball.

It very nearly became a 2-0 game in the 43rd minute as Ortega sent a pass through to Abelairas that caught Nash out of position, but the midfielder rang his shot off the post with an empty net to shoot for to keep it a one-goal game at the half.

Second half... no changes for Everton.  Everton had a solid opportunity to pull even in the 46th minute as Jo danced through a pair of River players before hitting the side of the net. Leighton Baines should perhaps have done better with a free-kick he drilled wide.

Phil Neville came on as a substitute in the 69th minute. Everton supporters believed they should have received a penalty in the 85th minute when forward Louis Saha was tripped up going for a cross, but the Blues otherwise had few chances to tie the game up in the second half.

Michael Kenrick

Match Report

May appear here later


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  Orban (46' Musacchio)
  Domingo  (74' Pezzella)
  Barrado (89' Daz)
  Ortega (66' Rosales)
  Fabbiani (66' Villalva (90' Fernndez))
  Subs not used
  Diaz Chiaba


EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Pienaar (75' Wallace)
  Fellaini (69' Saha)
  Baxter  (69' Neville)
  Jô (69' Vaughan)
  Subs not used
  Arteta (injured)
  Jagielka (injured)
  Anichebe (injured)
  Coleman (injured)


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