JOHN KRETLOW - Saturday, January 28, 2012
In a much anticipated matchup, Landon Donovan provided two assists to help Tim Howard and Everton oust Clint Dempsey and Fulham from the FA Cup on Friday
All three Americans started and went the distance, with Donovan providing two assists that put the hosts in the win column.
After a slow start from both teams, Fulham found the back of the net in the 12th minute. Everton's Johnny Heitinga was called for a hand ball in the box, resulting in a penalty kick that Danny Murphy converted for the Cottagers.
The Toffees began to heat up later in the first half, highlighted by Magaye Gueye's shot that was deflected away by Fulham's defense after a Donovan corner kick in the 21st minute.
Just a minute later Fulham's ‘keeper David Stockdale misplayed a ball, resulting in a shot by Shane Duffy that was saved by the Cottagers' backline.
The Toffees pressure did not go without reward, as Donovan made an impressive left-footed cross that Denis Stracqualursi headed in for Everton in the 27th minute.
Everton nearly got the lead before halftime when Donovan rocketed a shot from 25-yards out that Stockdale saved.
In the second half Everton continued their pressure, resulting in another goal. After a foul outside of the box, the Toffees took the set piece quickly and Donovan made a pinpoint cross that Maraoune Fallaini headed in passed Stockdale.
Everton held on to preserve the victory at Goodison Park and booking their tickets to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
This was the 6th game for Donovan on his loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy. He has recorded three assists in his last three games for the Toffees.
The game marked Howard's 250th appearance in an Everton uniform.
Dempsey went into the game having scored 10 goals in Fulham's last 11 games in all competitions, but on this day the forward could not find the back of the net.
Heitinga, Tim Cahill, and Darron Gibson were booked for Everton, while Chris Baird, and Dempsey received yellow cards for Fulham.
The Toffees host Premier League leaders Manchester City on Tuesday, while Fulham plays West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.