Aisa Trophy workout won on penalties

Everton kicked off the Barclays Asia Trophy against Stoke City with a goalless draw but won the exhibition game with a perfect record from the spot in the shootout. Phil Jagielka hammered home the winning kick after Tim Howard had saved from Marco van Ginkel.

Everton 0 - 0 Stoke City [5-4 on penalties]

The Barclays Asia Trophy became the first full match in Singapore's new National Stadium. Everton and Stoke City took the field in Premier League style with a regular team hand-pat, while those watching from afar were greeted on the commentary with "The Big News, of course is that Arsenal have come out here and they play in the second game" showing what a total twat Martin Tyler is!

A strong, if rather cautious and conventional starting line-up kicked off in regular Blue & White kit before a rather sparse crowd and tried to dominate possession from the off. Barkley fed Mirallas wide right and he cut in nicely but his shot was not that strong.

Bardsley almost got behind the Everton defence but the covering was effective and the danger snuffed out. However, this gave Stoke a bit of drive and the competitiveness of the game was evident, Everton surging forward quite nicely with Galloway crossing early and into the danger area.

A really nice move saw Barkley play the ball up to Lukaku, who headed back for Mirallas and Barkley followed up, dribbling well to win the corner that Mirallas took but nothing came of it. Barkley was looking good, and seeking to play the early ball, which Lukaku might have done better with.

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Galloway was also catching the eye with some great forward runs on the left, and not getting the benefit off the referee. At the other end Odemwinge should have hammered home an easy chance right in front of Howard as the Everton defence were rather easily exposed.

Pienaar was getting well involved, seemingly playing a fairly central role, and winning some free-kicks in his usual manner. Mirallas sent in a good one that Jagielka headed wide.

Everton in general were playing with a pleasing positive intent, and getting the ball forward with notably greater pace than many times last season, Mirallas showing another great move and cutting in again from the right but the placement of players in the box on the receiving end of his low cross continued to be the problem when it came to converting good effort into end product. A drinks break mid-way through the half was a relief for all.

Hibbert was caught and eventually ended up on his face, allowing Arnautovic to advance with the ball but Howard, saved as the Stoke player was tackled by Jagielka. Pienaar was fouled again, earning Bardsley a yellow card. Pienaar hit the ground hard again, and needed some on-field treatment, with Naismith readying himself on the sidelines... only to retake his seat on the bench.

Arnautovic taunted Browning somewhat to play in Ireland who shot high and wide. Mirallas scampered forward for a shot that was blocked. Everton were linking up well a times and looked to be much the better side in terms of football, but unable to create real chances despite some good balls being played in to Lukaku.

Just before the break, Pienaar, advancing down the left channel, slid a ball beautifully towards the middle to release Lukaku into the area. Lukaku rounded Haugaard on the left, and slipped the ball into the net, but he was a yard offside.

Naismith darted into the area and saw a great early shot finger0tipped over, Everton's best chance, just seconds after the start of the second half. Lukaku and Haugaard then collided clumsily.

Deulofeu's first touch was poor, giving the ball away under no pressure. Another goods forward move, with five Everton players attacking, was too easily stalled by Stoke. Naismith was clipped and Deulofeu banged in a free kick, 30 yards out, easily saved by Haugaard.

Deulofeu leaps on a loose ball in the middle of the park. He races towards the box, But Cameron strode in too easily and robed him of the ball. Great defending, but Deulofeu should have shoot earlier.

Odemwingie fired in a great low cross and it seemed Ireland must score but somehow Howard kept it out, and Everton went up he other end where Deulofeu should have done far better, trying to pass the ball around the keeper.

Fairly open play from both sides was entertaining but largely ineffective as neither side seemed to have the real quality where it was needed most -- in front of goal. Adam was the next to fire wide.

Stoke made a strong move through the middle with Adam playing in Van Ginkel but his attempt was blocked. At the other end Deulofeu made another great run but the decision-making at the critical moment was all wrong, allowing Cameron again to cross him and take the ball as he crucially hesitated. McCarthy hobbled off to be replaced by Konef or the last 10 minutes.

Deulofeu drew a couple of Stoke players towards him to the left of the Stoke D, then flicked a pass between them to send Naismith into the box, one-on-one with Haugaard, at a tight angle, but the Stoke keeper wins the duel, after an alarming scramble.

Lukaku picked the ball up in the centre-circle and drove forward only to spoon the most dreadful shot from 35 yards out. Shockingly poor... Browning was next to squander the advantage, a good move but his touch too heavy, losing the ball.

Lukaku latched onto a loose ball in the Stoke half and powered towards the goal again. He should have scored, but delivered a poor scuffed effort wide of the left post. A really poor effort, but Lukaku was running at Haugard again off a terrific first-time ball over the top from McCarthy or Cleverley? Only for the keeper to win the final duel yet again.

And so to Penalties:

  1. Stoke City 1-0 Everton: Adam smacks it bottom left.
  2. Stoke City 1-1 Everton: Lukaku stutters and pops it into the bottom left.
  3. Stoke City 1-1 Everton: Van Ginkel pelts his to the left, and hes denied by a strong Howard hand.
  4. Stoke City 1-2 Everton: Cleverley batters his into the right-hand portion of the net.
  5. Stoke City 2-2 Everton: Walters smoothly rolls his into the bottom right.
  6. Stoke City 2-3 Everton: Stones sidefoots calmly into the right, Haugaard going the other way.
  7. Stoke City 3-3 Everton: Bardsley larrups it straight down the middle. Howard dives out of the way.
  8. Stoke City 3-4 Everton: Deulofeu blooters his into the bottom right. Everton are very close to the big game now...
  9. Stoke City 4-4 Everton: Crouch slots it into the bottom left.
  10. Stoke City 4-5 Everton: Jagielka lashes it into the top right corner, and Everton are through.

Everton: Howard; Hibbert (46' Stones), Jagielka, Browning, Galloway; Barry (46' Cleverley), McCarthy (82' Kone); Pienaar (46' Osman), Barkley (46' Naismith), Mirallas (46' Deulofeu); Lakaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Coleman, Garbutt, Kenny, Williams, Robinson.

Stoke City: Haugaard, Bardsley [Y:30'], Cameron, Muniesa (63' Wilson), Teixeira, Sidwell, Shenton (72' Walters), Odemwingie (63' Van Ginkel), Ireland, Arnautovic (46' Adam), Joselu (63' Crouch).
Subs not Used: Given, Whelan, Johnson, Diouf, Moha.

Referee: Craig Pawson

Attendance: 29,800, according to the Guardian blog

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Reader Comments (12)

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Will Jones
1 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:05:34
Welcome Lady Luck! Please stay with us!!
Dick Brady
2 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:02:42
We couldn't score enough goals to finish teams off last season and that's why we finished out the top half for the first time in a decade.

I think Cleverley might be a useful player and Deulofeu has potential to change games but I don't think that's enough to make a major difference.

I fear the same problems will haunt us this upcoming season and we could end up with a similar league position.

Peter Fearon
3 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:41:24
It's a little early to give up on the season Dick. I thought they all looked pretty confident. There was some nice close footwork from Deulofeu, Pienaar and Naismith.

Yes, Lukaku could have had better service and he could have done better with the service he had but there was plenty to build on in that performance. Haugaard made a couple of very good saves and we were without the attacking momentum provided by Baines and Coleman.

It was also 90 degrees out there so it is not reasonable to expect too much pre-season effort. I am hoping for a solid marquee signing before the deadline.

Steven Jones
4 Posted 15/07/2015 at 21:05:06
Given two games in the first 8 days back, plus the travel, I was impressed with the effort and sharpness.

RM could have easily put loads of subs on etc and made a mess of second half. He kept Rom on for entire match and he will benefit from that.

I'm moderately pleased with that performance, it could easily have been a 2-0 win. Stoke really did not threaten us in the second half of the second half, so fitness is on track.

It will be interesting if RM plays Deulofeu, Mirallas and Lukaku in the same team on Saturday ...

David Chait
5 Posted 15/07/2015 at 21:32:47
I got to watch the game tonight. Cleverley will be an asset definitely... far more forward-thinking and precise in his passing than the others. Macca lost he ball quite a lot but did make his usual tackles. Good pairing maybe.

Deulofeu couldn't make a pass and made many many bad decisions, but I'm happy he is here and he'd better learn!

I felt we moved the ball upfield much quicker than last season, so hopefully we have learnt.

Jim Hardin
7 Posted 16/07/2015 at 03:31:02
So does this count as Howard gaining Everton 3 points with his in-game saves as well as the penalty kick save? I am trying to keep a ledger when his detractors come out?
Anto Byrne
8 Posted 16/07/2015 at 03:56:00
Howard looked good and confident. A break is as good as a rest so they say.
Harold Matthews
9 Posted 16/07/2015 at 09:41:28
A satisfactory outing against a side who never got out of second gear and were very careful not to overstretch themselves. Mark Hughes is a wily old fox with experience to boggle the eye. I think they'll enjoy a good season.

Everton got the ball forward at pace at every opportunity but far too many low 20-yd passes were intercepted, or went straight to the opposition. These errors can lead to dangerous counter-attacks, especially if they are committed in our own half. Of course, these long passes are usually caused by people not making themselves available at a more comfortable distance, a rare occurrence with the top sides even when they are not fully fit.

Galloway and Browning are still very raw but performed with much promise. Cleverley gave us something new and exciting and Deulofeu will improve out of sight when he attains full fitness. The others were their usual selves.

As for the big fella up front, I'll be supporting him like mad but his inability to kill a ball remains one of the great mysteries of football. It's not even difficult. Even the ladies can do it. Even so, he's still a constant goal threat and will frighten a few keepers and centre-backs this season. His league tally certainly needs a boost.

Mike Childs
10 Posted 16/07/2015 at 15:03:09
Has the big guy dropped the extra stones he was carrying last year?
Harold Matthews
11 Posted 16/07/2015 at 17:58:04
Not sure Mike. I'll let you know when he leaps like a salmon for a header.
George Freeman
12 Posted 16/07/2015 at 19:41:51
Good report Michael, but just one point. Lukaku's goal was NOT offside. I have freeze framed the replay on SKY and when Pienaar kicks the ball the Stoke right back is playing Lukaku onside. Unless, of course, the linesman takes Lukaku's outstretched right arm as being offside. A tough call to make but he got it wrong.
Mike Childs
13 Posted 16/07/2015 at 23:44:35
Thanks Harold. It certainly will go a long way towards him being fit the entire 90.

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