Everton ended their pre-season tour of the USA in style with a convincing 3-1 victory over DC United, thanks to goals from Anichebe, Bilyaletdinov and Gueye.
The heat in Washington could have contributed to a slow affair, but in actuality it was a sharp, lively display from Everton who rose to the challenge of an enthusiastic DC United side looking to claim a scalp over an English Premier League side.
However, the hosts started nervously and Everton capitalised with an early goal from Victor Anichebe. The Nigerian ran on to a neatly clipped through ball and applied a tidy finish over the advancing keeper from a narrow angle to give us the lead on 4 minutes.
Tidy interplay from Vellios and Barkley resulted in Evertons second after 16 minutes, with a slide rule pass in for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who finished calmly underneath Hamid to make it 2-0.
Evertonians would have been encouraged by the performance of the highly touted Ross Barkley, who displayed his passing range and intricate footwork to good effect throughout the first 45 minutes, and it will be interesting to see how much of a role the youngster has this season.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
The second half saw Everton hit with a sucker punch immediately. The only threat prior to the 47th minute goal from Chris Pontius was a chipped effort from Andy Najar in the first half, and the Everton defence seemed to rest on their laurels as Pontius ran through unmarked to get on the end of a De Rosario lofted through ball and beat Mucha with ease.
DC came into the game notably in the second period, but the contest was put to bed when two substitutes combined for Everton. Beckford made a clever run down the left flank, chipped to the back post for Magaye Gueye, who cushioned the ball back across the face of goal to make it 3-1.
There were plenty of encouraging signs for Evertonians – Conor McAleny, an 18 year old youth prospect, looked dangerous and constantly looked for incisive runs off the ball, and could so nearly have had a goal for himself but his first time effort dragged agonisingly wide late on.
Everton now return to the UK to continue their pre-season, and they do so on the back of a solid win.