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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:03 GMT
Everton edge Sunderland
Everton 2-1 Sunderland

Everton goalscorer Brian McBride
McBride has now scored three times in two games

Brian McBride's dream start to his Everton career continued with a double strike at Goodison Park to leave Sunderland deep in trouble.

Kevin Kilbane had theatened to spring a surprise after he gave Howard Wilkinson's strugglers the lead against the run of play.

But USA World Cup star McBride, who started a three-month loan spell at Everton with a goal at Spurs on his debut, was the hero again.

He struck twice after the break to make it a weekend of celebration for Everton after teenage sensation Wayne Rooney put pen to paper on a long-term contract.

Everton missed two golden opportunities inside the first four minutes - with Alan Stubbs the culprit from identical opportunites.

Sunderland twice failed to cope with Gary Naysmith's corners, but twice Stubbs failed to hit the target.

Brian McBride's performance was excellent, he gives you great honesty and commitment

Everton manager David Moyes

Tomasz Radzinski should have opened the scoring as Everton piled forward, rounding Thomas Sorensen but failing to hit the target.

Sorensen then saved brilliantly from McBride and Steve Watson struck an upright as Sunderland held on.

And they made Everton pay for their wastefulness after 34 minutes when they took a shock lead.

Key incidents
34 mins: Kilbane puts Sunderland ahead
51 mins: McBride draws Everton level
57 mins: McBride grabs Everton's winner

Kevin Phillips found Kilbane, who fired home an accurate left foot finish.

Phillips almost doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time, but his 18-yard effort was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Richard Wright.

Sunderland's confidence was lifted and Phillips was denied again by Wright in the early stages of the second half, the England goalkeeper making amends for dropping a corner by saving brilliantly.

Everton took full advantage of the escape to turn the game around in the space of six minutes with a double from McBride.

If we are to improve we must control the ball better

Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson

Gemmill's cross caused confusion, leaving McBride to bundle the equaliser past Sorensen in the 51st minute.

And he was on the mark again when he rifled into the bottom corner from Radzinski's pass.

Sunderland offered hard work but little else as Everton held on to continue their pursuit of a European place.


Everton: Wright, Pistone, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson, Tie Li (Gravesen 45), Gemmill, Naysmith, McBride (Campbell 75), Radzinski.
Subs Not Used: Pembridge, Yobo, Gerrard.

Booked: Gemmill, Weir.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Williams, Craddock, Babb, McCartney, Thornton, McCann, Thirlwell (Arca 65), Kilbane, Flo (Proctor 73), Phillips.
Subs Not Used: Gray, Thome, Macho.

Booked: Craddock, McCann, Babb.

Attendance: 37,409

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Jimmy Armfield
"Goodison's European dream lives on"
Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson
"There were two turning points, one in each half"
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18 Jan 03 | Football
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