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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 20:59 GMT
SK Brann 0-2 Everton
By Phil McNulty

Everton's Leon Osman celebrates after his strike against SK Brann
Everton's Leon Osman celebrates after his strike against SK Brann
Everton virtually sealed a place in the last 16 of the Uefa Cup as Leon Osman and Victor Anichebe struck after the break to sink SK Brann in Norway.

Osman drove in a superb low finish after 59 minutes and substitute Anichebe turned in Joleon Lescott's cross two minutes from time.

Everton took control after the interval, with Tim Cahill hitting a post before Osman broke the deadlock.

Brann threatened occasionally, but Everton's quality proved decisive.


Everton recalled striker Yakubu in attack after he was fined and dropped for the win against Reading following his late return from the Africa Cup of Nations.

And the Nigerian was Everton's liveliest player in a first half when they failed to exert any serious domination over the Norwegian champions.

Brann almost took the lead as early as the eighth minute when former Portsmouth forward Azar Karadas sent an instinctive header over the bar from Jan Gunnar Solli's free-kick.

Everton's best opportunity came after 24 minutes when Osman curled a fine effort that was turned away by diving Brann keeper Hakon Opdal.

There was a moment of controversy in first-half injury time when Karadas bundled in Solli's corner, but Bulgarian referee Anton Genov ruled Everton keeper Tim Howard had been fouled by former Leeds midfield man Eirik Bakke.

Everton started the second half with a greater sense of purpose and almost took the lead after 52 minutes.

Cahill advanced and struck the post with a left-foot drive from 20 yards, with keeper Opdal getting a crucial touch.

Everton did break the deadlock seven minutes later, courtesy of a brilliant strike from Osman, who picked up a clearance and showed great technique to send a low, swerving finish beyond Opdal.

Manuel Fernandes almost doubled Everton's lead with 14 minutes left with a dipping shot that Opdal only just scrambled wide.

SK Brann's threat looked to have fizzled out, but substitute Njogu Demba Nyren tested Howard with a long-range shot - and then saved Thorstein Helstad's header from the resulting corner.

Everton delivered a killer blow with three minutes left when Lescott sent in a superb cross which Anichebe converted from close range.

SK Brann: Opdal, Dahl (Thwaite 89), Bjarnason, Sigurdsson, Hanstveit, Solli, Bakke, El Fakiri (Huseklepp 75), Moen, Helstad, Karadas (Demba-Nyren 69).
Subs Not Used: Udjus, Guntveit, Misje, Winters.

Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Osman, Cahill, Carsley, Fernandes (Hibbert 89), Yakubu (Baines 90), Johnson (Anichebe 76).
Subs Not Used: Wessels, Van der Meyde, Vaughan, Rodwell.

Booked: Fernandes.

Goals: Osman 59, Anichebe 88.

Att: 16,207

Ref: Anton Genov (Bulgaria).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton's Phil Jagielka 7.74 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

    Uefa Cup photos
    13 Feb 08 |  Europe
    Uefa Cup as it happened
    13 Feb 08 |  Europe
    Moyes praise for recalled Yakubu
    13 Feb 08 |  Everton


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