Ruzomberok 0-1 Everton (agg 0-2): Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores only goal
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 04/08/17 6:46am
Everton are into the Europa League play-offs after easing to a 1-0 victory over MFK Ruzomberok in Slovakia, to go through 2-0 on aggregate in their third round qualifying tie.
Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal on the night after the forward slotted home when put clean through on goal by Davy Klaassen with nine minutes remaining.
The hosts had shown few signs of providing a scare for their Premier League opponents, with Jordan Pickford not forced into making a save despite efforts off target by Dominik Kruzliak and Erik Daniel.
The Toffees will find out their Europa League play-off opponents in Friday's draw in Nyon.
Everton made four changes from the first leg as Jordan Pickford, Phil Jagielka, Tom Davies and Sandro Ramirez came in for Maarten Stekelenburg, Cuco Martina, Kevin Mirallas and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
During a largely uneventful opening 45 minutes, the Blues were given an early scare after just five minutes as Kruzliak met Dalibor Takac's corner unmarked but could only direct his header over the bar.
There were only flickers of quality from Ronald Koeman's side before half-time, with Wayne Rooney - on his 50th start in all competitions for Everton - partnering Sandro Ramirez up front.
Both showed a rustiness in front of goal, however, with Rooney miscuing his shot from Tom Davies' low cross, while Sandro fired over having been released by Davy Klaassen.
It was still the Slovakian outfit who posed the more questions in the first 10 minutes after the interval as Erik Daniel found space for himself on the right, but his cross-cum-shot flashed inches wide of the far post.
In truth, Everton showed a lack of sharpness before Calvert-Lewin's introduction in place of Sandro, with the 20-year-old immediately bringing greater urgency to the Blues' play through his fresh legs and aerial presence.
Having absorbed the Slovakians' honest attempts at trying to break down their three-man defence, Everton capitalised as the game opened up, as Klaassen released the lively Calvert-Lewin through on goal to slot home with a well-placed right-foot shot.
Koeman will not look back too fondly on the overall performance of his side, but he will be happy to have come through a potentially tricky tie ahead of Friday's draw in Switzerland.
Man of the match - Tom Davies
While it was Calvert-Lewin who made the difference on the night, it was Davies who produced the most impressive performance in unfamiliar surroundings.
The Toffees opted to play midfielder Davies in a right wing-back role instead of Cuco Martina, who had experienced a difficult debut last week in the first leg.
Davies showed his versatility with a mature display, composed in possession and getting forward to support the attack on multiple occasions with Rooney coming close to the opener courtesy of his run and cross.
Everton face Sevilla at Goodison Park on Sunday in the club's final pre-season friendly before kicking off the new Premier League season by entertaining Stoke City at home on Saturday, August 12.