SINGAPORE - After a dull 0-0 draw in the opening match of the Barclays Asia Trophy on Wednesday evening, Everton eventually defeated Stoke City 5-4 on penalties to move into the final.
Though Potters' goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard enjoyed a good debut, he was unable to prevent all five spot-kicks going past him as the Toffees celebrated victory at the National Stadium before an estimated crowd of 15,000.
There were a few chances from both sides to find the net but the curtain-raising game failed to spark off much excitement for the fans who came to see the two English Premier League sides in the flesh.
Although there were no goals in 90 minutes of regulation time, the bright spot for the fans was the chance to see the new signings in action.
Attacking midfielder Gerard Deulefou, Everton’s new acquisition from Barcelona, was a menace to Stoke’s defence and had a few chances to score but Haugaard was alert to deny the Spaniard each time.
The biggest culprit of the night was the Toffees' star striker Romelu Lukaku. The burly Belgian rounded the goalkeeper before tapping home in the dying minutes of the first-half but the goal was disallowed as he had strayed offside. And in the final minute, he burst clear through only to drag his shot wide of the goal.
Everton will meet the winner of the Arsenal-Singapore Selection match in Saturday's final.
Starting line-ups - Everton: Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka (C), Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, James McCarthy, Gareth Barry, Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar, Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway.
Stoke City: Jakob Haugaard, Phil Bardsley, Geoff Cameron, Marc Muniesa, Dionatan Teixeira, Steve Sidwell (C), Stephen Ireland, Oliver Shenton, Peter Odemwingie, Joselu, Marko Arnautovic.
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