Everton beats Juventus on penalties in International Champions Cup

August 1, 2013

Everton versus Juventus (2013) / By Gregg Kowalski

San Francisco, Calif. -- In the second match of the International Champions Cup -- a tournament-style event hosted throughout various U.S. cities this summer -- Everton defeated Juventus on penalties (6-5) in a Bay Area showdown at AT&T Park Wednesday night, after the teams had played to a 1-1 draw.

The close battle was a treat for local fans, who had the opportunity to see such stars as Everton’s Tim Howard and Marouane Fellaini, and Juventus’ Carlos Tevez.

In the opening minutes it was evident that both teams were out to win, as Tevez and Everton’s Steven Pienaar argued for a foul as each tried to gain possession.

Everton versus Juventus (2013) / By Gregg Kowalski

In the 18th minute Juventus finally seemed to get some offensive production going when Luca Marrone took an attempt from about 30 yards out, but U.S. national team and Everton star Tim Howard was in position to handle it.

Everton pushed the action to the other end in the 25th minute when Victor Anichebe headed the ball to the feet of Pienaar, whose shot from the top of the 18-yard box was slightly over the goal.

Juventus immediately responded with an offensive attack that resulted in a corner-kick. Luca Marrone eventually found the ball at his feet at the far post, but could not accurately redirect the shot.

Both teams continued to struggle offensively in the first half. Juventus earned another corner with 15 minutes left, and Tevez sent the ball in front of the goal. The ball was cleared by Everton, but to the feet of Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo, who one-timed the shot just wide.

Just before halftime Everton had a free-kick, but John Stones' header hit the post, leaving the game scoreless.

Early in the second half at the 52nd minute, it appeared things might change, as Everton’s Kevin Mirallas got through the Juventus defense and only had goalkeeper Marco Storari to beat. However, Storari held a firm position and blocked Mirallas’ shot.

Everton versus Juventus (2013) / By Gregg Kowalski

Keeper Tim Howard returned the favor and also made his presence felt, as he made a great diving save 10 minutes into the second half when Juventus’ Vidal Pardo nearly scored on a free-kick from about 25 yards out.

The first goal of the game would finally come in the 61st minute when Everton’s Victor Anichebe made a great tackle near midfield, cleanly dispossessing Juventus of the ball, and darted away.  He then passed out to Kevin Mirallas on the wing, who faked a defender outside near the 6-yard box and then brought the ball back in for a left-footed shot that beat Storari to the near post for a 1-0 Everton lead.

Fans at AT&T park stood up and cheered with 20 minutes remaining in the game, but this time not for a goal. Instead, the ovation was for Juventus and Italian legend Andrea Pirlo's entrance into the game.  Pirlo’s brilliant soccer career has had countless memorable moments, most notably leading Italy to a World Cup title in 2006.

Everton versus Juventus (2013) / By Gregg Kowalski

Without coincidence, Pirlo was involved in the passing that led to the tying goal in the 81st minute, as the ball made its way around the midfield and Kwadwo Asamoah got the ball for an open shot. Asamoah fired with his left foot and hit a ball with pace and curve. Tim Howard was finally beat and the game eventually proceeded to penalty kicks, tied 1-1.

With a potential game-winning penalty-kick attempt on the line, as well as an opportunity to advance in International Champions Cup, Pirlo stepped up against Howard, but to everyone's shock, his shot was wide. Howard would later win the game with a save of Juventus' Federico Peluso's penalty-kick.

Both teams will head to Dodger Stadium for weekend tournament games, and to give U.S. fans a taste of more European football.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

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