Three days after arriving in Tanzania, Everton lined up in their new silver/light grey away strip against the local heroes, and if there were any thoughts of this being a gentle warm-up game, those thoughts were banished inside fifteen minutes as the hosts seemed very interested against a Premiership club.
Inevitably, these was some misplaced passes and rust in the Everton legs, but thanks to the hosts keenness to have a go, the first half saw a decent pace to the play.
Davy Klaassen was impressing in his busy midfield style while the prodigal son looked just a little bit isolated up front.
That is until the 34th minute when he received the ball some 35 yards out, controlled it, took a quick look up and then, unerring reminiscent of his debut goal against Arsenal back in 2002, he unleashed a devastating shot that ballooned the net without the need of the crossbar to beat the ‘keeper.
To say it was a dream come true would be an immense understatement, but the healthy crowd inside the Dar-Es-Salaam National Stadium had seen something rather special.
As only Everton can do, an equaliser was somewhat gifted to the hosts barely three minutes later as a right wing corner was neatly headed home by Jacques Tuyisenge.
A competitive and lively first half saw the honours shared ahead of a mass change of Everton personnel during the break
Team: Hewelt, Baines, Barry, Keane, Pennington, Besic, Gana Gueye, Davies, Dowell, Calvert-Lwein and Mirallas.
Everton came out at a really good tempo for the second half and it was good to see Mo Besic back in the team.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
The Blues with Tom Davies straight into the game were playing confidently, knocking the ball around and giving themselves and the opposition a good work out.
Around the hour mark, the chances really began to flow and Calvert-Lewin was unlucky to see his effort wrongly ruled out for offside.
Straight afterwards, the Gor goalie parried another DCL effort and Gana Gueye was denied at thr back post by a last-ditch challenge.
It was now all Everton and Gana tried his luck from distance with a blast parried by the Gor keeper who was beginning to see a lot of action.
Just to keep Jason Hewelt on his toes, Musa tested him from nigh on 40 yards to the delight of the home crowd.
Kieran Dowell was unlucky to see a 79th minute effort cannon back off the cross bar but he wasn’t going to be denied and taking a nice pass from Davies two minutes later, he strode forward and crashed a shot from outside the box high into the Gor goal for a lead Everton thoroughly deserved.
Everton kept their momentum high and come the final whistle and despite a late chance gifted to the home side by a loose Hewelt pass, manager Ronald Koeman and his coaching staff will been delighted at the showing in the first outing, played in a very warm temperature.
Every player competed and indeed had to given the enthusiasm and professionalism shown by their hosts.
So, a winning start with two terrific goals, a defensive lapse to work on, and the team leave their visit to Africa having made a lot of friends and with Wayne Rooney having shown he’s definitely not come to play in a retirement home.
Nice to see Aaron Lennon back on a football pitch too and looking in good nick.