Casablanca, a derby no-one wanted & Dog and Duck United on tour - Everton's strangest pre ... - The Libyan Report

Casablanca, a derby no-one wanted & Dog and Duck United on tour - Everton's strangest pre ...

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While Evertonians wait for the Blues' pre-season schedule to be revealed, fans will be hoping for a couple of easily accessible North-West fixtures, maybe a trip to a continental holiday destination - or even a clash against glamorous European opposition.

So far, the Blues have just one match scheduled - in Nairobi against Kenyan champions Kariobangi Sharks.

But while a trip close to the Equator is unusual, it isn't unheard of.

Everton travelled to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania two years ago.

But what have been Everton's strangest friendly matches? There's a few to choose from.

2018 - Everton 22 ATV Irdning 0

Marco Silva will never forget his first official 'match' as Everton manager.

The Blues beat a team of part-timers from the fifth tier of Austrian football by a cricket score. There was a goal scored every four minutes or so, four players celebrated hat-tricks and the Toffees were 10-0 up by half-time.

They faced a more traditional test a few days later at Bury - and drew 1-1.

1979 Libya 0 Everton 1

The previous time the Blues travelled to Africa before their Tanzanian expedition, it was simply a case of escaping a harsh English winter and finding a venue where frustrated footballers could enjoy some competitive action.

Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya did seem like an extreme answer, mind!

In mid-March 1979, with the country still paralysed by the lingering affects of one the worst winters in living memory, manager Gordon Lee decided to take his squad away for competitive match action in Libya.

Ten years after Colonel Gaddafi’s revolution the Blues flew to Tripoli to take on the Libyan national side in their brand new stadium.

Everton’s 1-0 win made them the first team to beat Libya there after Borussia Moenchangladbach and Real Madrid had tried and failed.

Afterwards manager Lee described the trip as “a good experience” despite Bob Latchford coming back injured after falling on the then new Astrotruf playing surface.

George Telfer scored the only goal of the game and Lee declared: “It was good experience and a useful workout – especially with most of the games being snowed off in England."

Charles Lambert – who covered the trip for the Liverpool Echo – recalled an unusual postscript to the adventure.

“There were a few puzzled looks when the Everton squad flew into Heathrow last week after their friendly in Tripoli,” he wrote “because along with their usual baggage were half a dozen carpets.

“The carpets were presented to the directors and officials by their Libyan hosts and caused considerable head scratching on the part of the customs officers before the party was allowed through.”

1996 Everton 0 Liverpool 0

A derby match? In pre-season? Really?

That's exactly what transpired when Everton lost a penalty shoot-out to Borussia Moenchengladbach and Liverpool lost 2-0 to Porto in the Sir John Moores Centenary Tournament.

While the Germans beat the Portuguese team in the final, Everton faced their fiercest rivals in a third/fourth place play-off nobody wanted!

The attendance was a modest 12,812, two full strength teams slugged out a goalless draw - and such was the lack of appetite for the fixture both teams eschewed the penalty shoot-out which had been scheduled to decide who finished third.

The bottom line was, no-one did.

1977 Wydad Casablanca 1 Everton 0

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world ... Everton decided to go to Casablanca for a pre-season tournament in 1977.

After after drawing 1-1 with European champions Czechoslvakia Everton lost a penalty shoot-out - when the unthinkable happened.

Terry Darracott scored.

Think Tony Hibbert's strike against AEK Athens for the kind of eyebrows which were raised by that occurrence.

Darracott made 179 appearances for Everton and never looked like scoring a goal, but where Mike Pejic and Duncan McKenzie failed in Morocco, Darracott and Jim Pearson were successful.

That set up a clash with tournament hosts Wydad, but a 1-0 defeat meant Everton ended up with the wooden spoon.

1994 Everton 2 Torino 0, Lazio 4 Everton 0

When is a pre-season friendly, not a pre-season friendly?

When it only lasts 45-minutes?

During Mike Walker's only pre-season at the helm the Blues flew to Aosta – a frontier town in Northern Italy – for a three team tournament with a difference.

Torino and Lazio were the opposition – and the difference was that the matches lasted just 45 minutes.

That was fine for the sides playing back to back matches, but one unfortunate team had to sit out for the best part of an hour while the other teams slugged it out.

Predictably that was Everton.

The Blues comfortably disposed of Torino 2-0 – than had to watch while Lazio and Torino fought it out, before dragging their rapidly stiffening limbs out to face the light blues.

They lost 4-0.

1997 Panathinaikos 4 Everton 1

Everton met Greek club Panathinaikos in Athens' Olympic Stadium, in a September friendly to 'celebrate' the 25th anniversary of 1971's European Cup quarter-final between the two clubs.

Except no-one seemed concerned that the European Cup fixture had been 26 years earlier.

The fixture helped Everton fill an international break, although quite what benefit Howard Kendall's side received from a 4-1 thrashing was uncertain.

Michael Branch did score with a wonderful chip, but that was the only bright spot.

2010 Everton 2 Everton 0

It was the match that Everton simply could not lose - and they did not let anyone down by beating Everton 2-0 in a prestigious pre-season friendly at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Everton of England, that is, who beat Everton of Chile in the first meeting between the two clubs, the South American one being formed 101 years ago after the other one went on a tour of South America in 1909.

The first unusual feature of the evening was the scoreboard which read: "Everton 0, Everton 0" at kick-off and "Everton 2 Everton 0" at the end thanks to second-half goals from Jermaine Beckford and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

2014 Celta Vigo 3 Everton 1 at Prenton Park

Everton welcomed Spanish side Celta Vigo to Merseyside in the summer of 2014.

But the game was staged across the water at Prenton Park as the Blues committed to just one pre-season fixture at Goodison Park to ensure the playing surface was in optimum condition for the first Premier League game of the season.

It might have been, but it still didn't help Roberto Martinez's side who drew their girst home game 2-2 with Arsenal and lost the next 6-3 to Chelsea.

1994 St Pauli 1 Everton 2

Everton triumphed against Hamburg's lesser known club side, after some unusual pre-season preparation.

Everton's team hotel was a a four hour coach journey away – which meant no opportunity for a pre-match meal.

The motorway service station which the team bus idled outside for half-an-hour en route didn’t have the kind of refuelling required for top flight footballers – which meant that on only David Prentice's second pre-season tour as Everton correspondent he was given an unusual pre-match task.

He recalled: "I was asked to surreptitiously ferry huge bratwurst sausages from a pitch side stall to a couple of decorated international footballers warming up on the pitch, without the manager’s knowledge, of course."

Everton won 2-1.

“It’s Dog and Duck United on tour,” Neville Southall and Andy Hinchcliffe memorably quipped.

1976 Everton 0 Dundee United 0

The summer of 1976 was one of the longest, hottest summers on record. The winter was not.

In November Everton filled a gap in their fixture list with a match against rapidly improving Scottish side Dundee United at Goodison Park - but only 4,549 watched it.

Well, tried to watch it.

Fog saw sporting fixtures cancelled or postponed up and down the country, while supersonic jet Concorde was diverted from Heathrow to Manchester in order to land safely.

(Image: Daily Mirror)

"Brand Saves Everton Pride In The Fog" was the Echo headline, along with the final paragraph: "The game did demonstrate that the gap between English and Scottish football is narrowing all the time."

How times change ...