Wayne Rooney enjoyed a dream return to Everton with a stunning goal as the Toffees beat Kenyan team Gor Mahia 2-1 in their opening pre-season game today.
Making his first official return appearance for the Merseyside club since leaving for Manchester United in 2004, Rooney opened the scoring in Tanzania on 34 minutes with a long-range effort that left goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch grasping at thin air.
Gor Mahia responded immediately through Jacques Tuyisenge when poor marking by Everton from corner led to an immediate reply with the Kenyan nodding in at the near post.
Rooney played the first half before Ronald Koeman changed his entire XI at the break, with new signings Davy Klaassen and Michael Keane also making their Everton debut.
The change brought about a noticeable change with Everton upping the tempo after the break.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin should have restored their lead but had a goal incorrectly ruled out after Keane was adjudged offside in the build-up.
That injustice sparked Everton’s best spell of the game as Oluoch twice denied the excellent Idrissa Gueye and also kept out a low shot from Calvert-Lewin.
Desperate Gor Mahia defending saw a Gueye effort cleared off the line before Kieran Dowell rattled the woodwork with a fierce 25-yeard drive from a training ground set-piece.
Not to be denied, the Toffees youngster, who helped England U20s to World Cup glory in South Korea, smashed home the late winner.