David Moyes just about resisted the temptation to say he hopes Jermaine Defoe finds himself up against Tim Howard from the penalty spot when England play the USA in their World Cup opener in Rustenburg next June, having watched his goalkeeper save an injury time penalty to cap an extraordinary comeback.
"You don't want me saying that," Moyes joked when asked if he hoped for a repeat on 12 June. Howard said he had taken advice from his team-mate Louis Saha – who told the 30-year-old to "just go early and make your mind up" – and from Everton's own goalkeeping coach Chris Woods.
But Moyes said the save – the fourth of a weekend in which Chelsea's Frank Lampard, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Portsmouth's Aruna Dindane also missed from the spot and only Aston Villa's John Carew scored – was down to Howard's innate ability.
"How do you know [which way a striker will shoot]?" Moyes said. " You don't research [that]. You think about what you do and try to cover all eventualities. We just work hard at what we do."
An even bigger boost for Moyes was the performance of young right-back Seamus Coleman, whose role contributed to Benoit Assou-Ekotto being removed at half-time and who then beat replacement Gareth Bale to set up Everton's first goal. This, after a torrid debut out of position at left-back in the 5-0 Europa League hammering at Benfica. "He was fantastic today and played really really," Moyes said of the player. "He got forward well and made a difference. I had no doubts about him. It was just a difficult night in Benfica."
Moyes sees the point as a potentially significant moment in injury ravaged Everton's attempts to rebuild. "It could be an important point for us," the manager said. "Players are beginning to see that at this moment in time we are going to have to work very hard and stick together. We need the spirit to stay until we get the players back."
Harry Redknapp accepted Spurs had missed too many opportunities. "We were 2-0 up and in complete control," he said. "They caused us more problems when the strikers came on."
Howard added that he did not want Everton to leave Goodison Park, where another partisan atmosphere helped see them to this point, in favour of an out-of-town stadium at nearby Kirkby.
"I want to stay," Howard said. "There's heart and soul here. If you give them something to cheer, they will cheer."Reuse content