Photo: Victorious Everton FC / Courtesy of EvertonFC.com
Everton Under-18s have won the Dallas Cup after beating Fulham 2-1 in the final at Toyota Stadium.
The Young Blues will return home with winners’ medals thanks to Southport’s Delial Brewster’s excellently-taken double.
The forward reacted quickest on 28 minutes to break the deadlock and then wrapped up the win with an unstoppable left-footed effort midway through the second half – taking his total for the tournament to an impressive five goals.
Elijah Adebayo halved the deficit for Fulham with five minutes to go but Everton dug in to win the trophy.
It was another brilliant team effort from the Under-18s who responded to the disappointment of losing their opening game of the tournament to Tigres a week earlier with great character by carving out victories over Kyoto Sanga, Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, along with Fulham, on their crusade to glory.
The Young Blues then stepped up the pace and began to look more threatening in the final third. Alex Denny saw a fierce drive blocked and Nathan Broadhead bent a free-kick narrowly over the target.
The breakthrough arrived in the 28th minute and it was all that Kevin Sheedy’s side merited for their dominance.
Broadhead leapt high to nod against the crossbar and when the ball rebounded down and out, talisman Brewster steadied himself to thump a left-footed effort past Cottagers’ goalkeeper Magnus Norman.
Fulham’s response to falling behind was a long-range attempt from Lucas de la Torre that flew wide of the target.
On the stroke of half-time there were strong appeals for a penalty from Everton when Brewster went down under a challenge inside the area. However the referee disagreed and the forward was booked for simulation.
Everton picked up where they left off after the restart and the lead could easily have been doubled had Broadhead showed more composure after jinking in from the left.
Right-winger Liam Morris also troubled Fulham’s defence, bringing a low stop from Norman.
Fulham offered more following the interval and Ben Pierce in the Everton goal had to be alert to push away Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s skidding drive.
The game was put beyond the Londoners’ reach when Brewster blasted in his and Everton’s second on 70 minutes.
After being played in on the left channel, he smashed an unstoppable drive across Norman and into the far corner.
Powerful frontman Adebayo held off Callum Lees to pull a goal back in the 85th minute but Everton battled right to the end to see the game out.
There were scenes of delight at the final whistle and the players and staff celebrated joyously after collecting the trophy.
Everton: Pierce, Yates, Lees, Yarney, Harrington, Baningime, Denny, Kiersey, Morris, Broadhead, Brewster (Subs not used: Johnson, Virtanen, Corke, Moore, Mellen).
Report courtesy of everton.fc.com
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