WASHINGTON — Two early first-half goals led Everton to a 3-1 win over D.C. United in a friendly at RFK Stadium Saturday night.
Victor Anichebe and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov each scored in the game’s first 16 minutes to pace the Premier League side past United, whose lone goal of the game came from Chris Pontius.
Within four minutes after kick off, Everton took the lead. Leighton Baines curled a ball from midfield over the D.C. United back line, and an on-rushing Anichebe beat Brandon McDonald to the ball, chipping over Bill Hamid to take the lead.
United had a good chance to equalize in the 11th minute as a corner kick was headed back across goal to a wide-open Josh Wolff, but his driving shot missed the target.
Five minutes after that, Everton doubled their lead, as Ross Barkley’s through ball found a streaking Bilyaletdinov behind DC’s back line, and beat Hamid between his legs.
Down two goals, DC kept pushing in search of an equalizer. Andy Najar was active on both flanks, and in the 29th minute almost scored a wonder-goal, chipping goalie Jan Mucha—only to be denied by the crossbar.
Two minutes after the break, United got on the board. Substitute midfielder Dwayne De Rosario hit a long ball that Chris Pontius managed to get on the end of, and he finished past Mucha to cut the lead in half.
After the goal, the back-and-forth affair continued with multiple chances for both sides. Everton midfielder Tim Cahill had a header cleared off the line by DC’s Stephen King, and at the other end a Chris Pontius chance was poked out for a corner only minutes later.
The scoring opportunities kept coming. Joseph Ngwenya had a mazy run and dribble that he couldn’t finish off, while DC’s substitute 'keeper Steve Cronin had to be alert to snare a Jermaine Beckford shot from outside the box.
Everton put the game out of reach in the 83rd minute. Beckford beat D.C. United’s offside trap, collected himself in the DC box, and lofted a cross that Magaye Gueye volleyed past Cronin.
A lively night for Pontius continued as he nearly grabbed a second goal in stoppage time, only to be denied by Mucha, as Everton closed out the two-goal win.
EVE -- Victor Anichebe (Leighton Baines) 4
EVE -- Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Ross Barkley) 16
DC -- Chris Pontius (Dwayne De Rosario) 47
EVE -- Magaye Gueye (Jermaine Beckford) 82
EVE -- Tim Cahill (caution; Handball) 27
Everton FC -- Jan Mucha, Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka (Phil Neville 70), Sylvain Distin, Leighton Baines (John Heitinga 70), Victor Anichebe (Conor McAleny 52), Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley (Magaye Gueye 46), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Tim Cahill (Jermaine Beckford 72), Apostolos Vellios (Leon Osman 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Adam Davies.
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid (Steve Cronin 46), Chris Korb (Perry Kitchen 46), Brandon McDonald (Clyde Simms 78), Dejan Jakovic (Ethan White 46), Marc Burch (Daniel Woolard 70), Andy Najar (Dwayne De Rosario 46), Stephen King, Kurt Morsink (Conor Shanosky 46), Austin Da Luz, Joseph Ngwenya, Josh Wolff (Chris Pontius 36).
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: C.J. Morgante; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Daniel Fitzgerald
Time of Game: 1:48
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 99 degrees