Last-gasp Mina leveller salvages potentially crucial point for Everton

20/05/2023 comments  |  Jump to last
Wolves 1 - 1 Everton

Yerry Mina's goal nine minutes into stoppage time grabbed what might yet prove to be a priceless point at Molineux

Yerry Mina scrambled home an equaliser nine minutes into stoppage time at Molineux to stave off defeat to Wolves on an afternoon that threatened to be disastrous for Everton.

The Blues had fallen behind and then lost both their only fit full-back in Nathan Patterson and arguably their most important outfield player in Dominic Calvert-Lewin to injury in the first half and it looked as though Hwang Hee-chan’s solitary goal was going to settle the contest until Mina pounced.

The Colombian was on hand in a crowded goalmouth to grab a goal that edged Everton a point further away from the relegation zone but still leaves them sweating on the matches involving Leeds United and Leicester City before the end of the current match week.

With Calvert-Lewin passed fit despite feeling tightness in his groin during last Sunday’s home defeat to Manchester City, Sean Dyche and his men were no doubt confident, despite having to start Dwight McNeil at left back in place of the injured Vitalii Mykolenko, that they could carry some of through their magnificent performance at Brighton in their previous away game and pick up three precious points against a Wolves side that had already secured their Premier League future.

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And they started well, with Calvert-Lewin chesting down Mina’s knock-on and firing into the side-netting in the third minute, unable to steer Abdoulaye Doucouré’s cross on target in the 10th, and then despatching Alex Iwobi’s dangerous centre narrowly over the crossbar.

James Tarkowski had a shot blocked, referee David Coote inexplicably failed to award Calvert-Lewin a clear free-kick on the edge of the Wolves box and just seconds later Patterson was involved in a collision of legs that would force him off with an injury with less than half and hour gone.

Everton remained the dominant side and their best chance of the first period should have fallen to Calvert-Lewin but Mina got in ahead of him to meet McNeil’s corner and the defender couldn’t keep his header down.

The visitors’ momentum and good work to that point was undone shortly afterwards in a moment, however, when Doucouré’s weak pass was intercepted deep in Wolves territory and the hosts broke away through Adama Traoré. His shot was well saved by Jordan Pickford but he could only palm it into the path of the untracked Hwang who turned the loose ball home.

Another giveaway almost immediately afterwards, this time by Tarkowksi, let Wolves in again but, thankfully, Daniel Podence headed the rebound over the bar after Pickford had saved from Nelson Semedo.

Iwobi had a tame shot comfortably caught by Dan Bentley in the hosts’ goal and Calvert-Lewin’s last meaningful contribution was to draw a foul on the edge of the area but James Garner cleared the bar by a distance with the resulting free-kick before Podence drilled a shot wide to end the half.

With Calvert-Lewin and Patterson missing and Demarai Gray and Michael Keane in their place, Everton struggled for coherence and balance in the second half. There had a few bright moments before the hour mark, first when the ball almost dropped for Keane in the six-yard box and then when Iwobi tested Bentley with a better effort from distance and Gray flashed an inviting ball across the face of goal with no blue shirt gambling to meet it.

Wolves had another dangerous counter-attack but Pablo Sarabia curled wide when well placed and Semedo narrowly missed the far post with a decent effort while Gray tried his luck with a trademark cut inside and shot at the other end but Bentley did enough to bat it behind.

Everton’s attempts to grab something from the contest became increasingly desperate and, in truth, increasingly ineffective as they launched the ball forward looking for Keane who had been pushed into an emergency striker’s role after Mason Holgate had been introduced in place of Amadou Onana.

Iwobi fired a good-looking shot that was searching out the inside post from 20 yards but a deflection carried it wide and substitute Neal Maupay hooked the ball over his shoulder and wide from a deep throw-in as the game ticked towards 90 minutes.

Wolves almost put the game to bed two minutes into the nine added on by Coote for stoppages when Matheus Nunes raced clear on the breakaway but Pickford denied him with an out-stretched foot that diverted the Portuguese’s shot wide.

Then, just when it looked as though Everton’s huffing, puffing and ineffective long-ball football was to be in vain, Gray flighted a long ball to the back post, Tarkowski beat Bentley’s gloves to the ball to head it downwards where Keane knocked it square and Mina converted from close range to send the distraught visiting fans into delirium on their side of the stadium.

In the context of the battle to avoid relegation, the Toffees really needed a victory today to ensure that they could go into the final match against Bournemouth knowing that they were practically safe and that Nottingham Forest, who beat Arsenal to guarantee they will stay up, would still be in reach.

A point could yet end up being vital, again depending on how results go at the London Stadium tomorrow where Leeds play West Ham and St James's Park on Monday night where Leicester face Newcastle.


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