Everton 1 Metalist Kharkiv 1: Everton reeling after Johnson's penalty farce

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The Independent Football

Everton face a difficult trip to the Ukraine after the first leg of their Uefa Cup tie went wrong for them in the last 20 minutes as Andy Johnson missed two penalties and Metalist hung on for a draw with nine men.

Already one up, Everton seemed to be on their way to a routine win when Joleon Lescott, the scorer of that first-half goal, was wrestled over by Oleksandr Babych and Johnson fired the spot kick into the roof of the net.

It was the first penalty ever awarded in European football at Goodison, but it did not count. The referee had spotted encroachment and Johnson had to take it again, this time low to Oleksandr Goryainov's left where the keeper saved it.

Seweryn Gancarczyk was sent off for dissent in the middle of all this, but the Ukrainians were celebrating, and six minutes later they had more reason to rejoice. Marco Devic prodded the ball into the path of the Moroccan substitute, Hicham Mahdoufi, whose first touch of the game set it up for another replacement, the Brazilian Zeze, to equalise.

It got worse for Everton. After Victor Anichebe had one penalty appeal turned down, he succeeded with another when Babych hauled him down, a repeat offence for which he saw red. This time Johnson did not mess around, belting it into the upper section of the Gwladys Street stand. Just to complete a night of abject frustration, Johnson had the ball in the net during the six minutes added on, but Anichebe had clearly fouled the goalkeeper.

Everton always had the better of the game territorially, taking the lead when James McFadden won and took a corner on the right and Lescott showed up Kharkiv's defensive frailties by rising unchallenged to head home. Leon Osman and Ayegbeni Yakubu both went close early in the second half, but there was a resilience and a whiff of the unorthodox about the Ukrainians that made them difficult to beat.

Devic, a skilful Serbian international, had already given warning of his ability before the game took its extraordinary turn in the final quarter.

Everton (4-4-2): Wessels, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, McFadden, Neville, Carsley (Jagielka, 78), Osman, Johnson, Yakubu (Anichebe, 65). Substiutes not used: Ruddy (gk), Stubbs, Jagielka, Valente, Jutkiewicz, Anichebe, Vidarsson.

Metalist Kharkiv: Goryainov, Bordiyan, Babych, Gancarczyk, Obradobic, Guie, Slysur, Valiaev, Devic, Nwoha (Antonov, 59; Mahdoufi, 77), Rykun (Zeze, 67).

Referee: F Stuchlik (Austria).

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