A hat-trick for youngster Anthony Gordon helped Everton FC beat Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 to end a successful trip to Australia and relieve some of the pressure on Frank Lampard.
After beating Celtic on penalties in last weekend’s 0-0 draw, Everton overcame their well-documented goal struggles in Wednesday night’s game to close out Sydney’s inaugural Super Cup at CommBank Stadium on a good mark.
Winger Gordon was a constant threat up front for the Toffees and it was his 30th-minute goal that restored their advantage at the break.
When the 21-year-old netted his second against the run of play in the 59th minute, the Blues were at home, eventually finishing with more goals than in any game since February 2021.
Everton were the more polished side at the start and had their reward in the 14th minute when an unmarked Nathan Patterson crossed from the right edge of the box and found Neal Maupay.
The Frenchman could have had his brace just a minute later, but his shot from inside the box didn’t bend enough to reach the back of the net, instead sweeping the woodwork down the right.
Ramy Najjarine made his case for more minutes as he helped Wanderers equalize with their first significant chance just three minutes later. He converted a 1-2 slick with Sulejman Krpic into a goal straight ahead.
The combination of Najjarine and Krpic almost put Wanderers ahead when the former found the latter inside the box from a free kick. But Krpic’s header is deflected and on the rebound, Tomislav Mrcela hits the crossbar as the Blues hold on.
Western Sydney were forced to regret their near miss when Abdoulaye Doucoure joined Gordon at the other end just a minute later and pushed the Toffees ahead.
The reversal of fortune did not deflate Wanderers, who emerged from the hangars with renewed vigor and ready to probe the Everton defence.
But hopes of a comeback were dashed when Gordon pounced on a save made by Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush, who was unable to block the ball a second time.
Margush could have been forgiven for Gordon’s brace, but he evaded Stanley Mills’ strike directly past fellow substitute Tom Cannon and the Blues confirmed a big win with the easier goal.
In the shadow of full-time, Gordon thundered a late home goal to pile more misery on Wanderers, who conceded more goals on Wednesday night than in the first six games of the A-League season.