LIVERPOOL, England– Gor Mahia FC sailed in uncharted waters when facing the might of Everton FC as the first East African club to face an English Premier League club on Tuesday night in a historic experience that ended in a 0-4 defeat.
Substitute Broadhead Nathan and Oumar Niasse scored twice in as many minutes to add the gloss on a superlative Everton performance after Ademola Lookman and Kieran Dowell struck in the first half at Goodison Park.
Colombia international centre-half Yerry Mina started and finished the match and turned in an assured display against the Kenyan team to put himself in contention for a full Premier League debut at Chelsea on Sunday.
James McCarthy, meanwhile, took another significant stride on his road to recovery from the broken leg he suffered in January, the midfielder playing the final 30 minutes of this contest, 10 days after coming through an Under-23 outing unscathed – and putting in the cross from which Welshman Broadhead scored his first goal for the Club.
Lookman impressed following a recent spate of substitute outings – and it was the England Under-21 international who broke the deadlock on 16 minutes.
The winger’s finish into an empty net was facile enough but there was plenty to admire in Lookman’s desire to get on the end of Cenk Tosun’s cross.
The goal was created down Everton’s right, Tosun fastening onto Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s neat ball inside left-back and debutant Shafiq Batambuze and sending an express delivery to the far post, where Lookman was barrelling in to convert first time.
Indeed, the East African side were struggling to tame the fleet-footed Lookman. And after Mina had leapt to head clear a corner midway through the opening half, it was the 21-year-old leading the cavalry upfield once more.
Lookman carried the ball just short of halfway before nudging a pass right for Calvert-Lewin. He continued the forward momentum until checked by a firm challenge from covering centre-half Joash Onyango.
Dowell had followed the play and was on the scraps in a flash. The winger used his first touch to knock the ball into the space in front of him and his second to swipe right footed across Boniface Oluch and into the far corner.
Oluoch twice repelled Dowell snap shots in the five minutes before half-time, although the Kenyan international goalkeeper had reserved his smartest piece of work to deny Calvert-Lewin with a sprawling save to fingertip the striker’s effort round his left post.
Tosun headed over when Dowell swung in a cross after playing a sharp one-two with Lookman at the subsequent corner.
Gor wide man George Odihambo escaped down the left to send a wicked low delivery flashing across the face of goal five minutes after the restart.
The away side’s clearest opening, however, would arrive just short of the hour mark. Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia, a half-time replacement for Maarten Stekelenburg, was alert to the danger when Francis Kahata fed a ball into the box.
Virginia raced to to punch clear but was prone when Francis Mustafa directed the rebound marginally off target.
Those two close-run things for Gor came either side of perpetual menace Lookman twisting beyond right-back Philemon Otieno and squaring from the by line, only for Batambuze to hack the ball clear from his own goal line.
Oluoch smothered at the feet of Niasse after more good approach play from Lookman on 76 minutes – the point at which manager Marco Silva brought on 17-year-old pair Anthony Gordon and Kyle John.
It was Broadhead, however, a replacement for Lookman with five minutes remaining, who scored Everton’s third.
McCarthy did the spade work, collecting possession on the right and serving a cross to the back post where the 20-year-old forward bundled the ball over the line.
And in a matter of seconds, Niasse was progressing through the middle to thrash a low shot in off the inside of Oluch’s right-hand post to complete a clinical night’s work for Silva’s men.
It was a chastening defeat for Gor but capped a great experience for the record 17-time Kenyan champions who nonetheless, will leave with fond memories of their maiden trip to the United Kingdom. -Sportpesanews