Everton “lifted” the SportPesa “Trophy” today at Goodison Park, walking past the Kenyan side Gor Mahia by a 2-0 scoreline. It was more than a little strange to have a friendly during the middle of the club season, but in truth the fixture may have been helpful both to Marco Silva and several of his senior players. It was an opportunity to give the youngsters some much-needed confidence, and re-integrate some injured players at the same time.
Ademola Lookman opened the scoring to kick off his man of the match performance, while Kieran Dowell later added a second after Yerry Mina’s clearance resulted in a good counter-attack. 17 year old Nathan Broadhead notched a tap-in after replacing Lookman, and shortly after that Oumar Niasse capitalized on a turnover to make it 4-0.
James McCarthy and Beni Baningime finally returned from their injuries - the latter going 90 at left back - and Yerry Mina played the full match in defense. Oumar Niasse and Morgan Schneiderlin were welcomed back into the team, too. It was one big family reunion.
While there’s very little we can truly take away from this match, it does bear noting that Lookman stood out above all others yet again. He’s quick, he’s creative, and he’s decisive. More minutes are coming his way, surely.
It was the first time a Kenyan side had ever played a club from the Premier League in England, and Gor Mahia deserve credit for staying in the match as long as they did. At full time, though, Marco Silva had done what Jurgen Klopp could not - win a trophy in his first season in charge. Well, see you guys later.