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Eto'o saves Everton as Krasnodar show potential

FC Krasnodar 1-1 Everton FC
The Russian debutants came close to replacing Everton as Group H leaders until Samuel Eto'o rescued the Blues eight minutes from time.

Samuel Eto'o fired Everton level with eight minutes left on the clock at Krasnodar
Samuel Eto'o fired Everton level with eight minutes left on the clock at Krasnodar ©AFP/Getty Images

Ari breaks the deadlock for the Russian Premier-Liga side after 43 minutes
Krasnodar substitute Wanderson rattles the bar within seconds of coming on
Samuel Eto'o spoils the party for the UEFA debutants in the 82nd minute
Everton move onto four points at the Group H summit
Next games: LOSC v Everton, Krasnodar v Wolfsburg (23 October)

European debutants FC Krasnodar gave UEFA Europa League Group H leaders Everton FC a scare in south-west Russia, leading through Ari's emphatic strike until conceding a late equaliser to Samuel Eto'o.

Early warning signs for Everton came from Marat Izmailov, Odil Ahmedov and Ricardo Laborde, visiting keeper Tim Howard also having to save from Izmailov and Ahmedov. Yet as the English team settled, Aiden McGeady and Gareth Barry elicited stops from Andriy Dykan before John Stones headed wide.

The menacing pace of Laborde was one constant from Oleg Kononov's side, making their home debut in a UEFA group stage having beaten JK Sillamäe Kalev, Diósgyőri VTK and Real Sociedad de Fútbol in qualifying before holding LOSC Lille in France a fortnight ago.

Everton were aged 130 when their hosts were founded in 2008. And they looked increasingly comfortable against the Russian upstarts until, two minutes before half-time, Phil Jagielka ill-advisedly touched on a pass from Ahmedov and Krasnodar's Brazilian forward Ari did the rest with a cool finish past Howard.

If Romelu Lukaku's introduction suggested an Everton fightback, Roberto Martínez's men – matchday one conquerors of VfL Wolfsburg – too often gave the ball away to build momentum. Indeed, substitute Wanderson nearly made it two, hitting the woodwork after a fine dribble. Lukaku did test Dykan but it took veteran Eto'o to bring the Blues level, flicking in Leighton Baines's cross from close range.