Everton Under-19s kept themselves in contention to qualify from the Dallas Cup group stages with a thoroughly deserved 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy on Monday evening.
The young Blues got off to a lightning quick start as Kieran Dowell notched his second goal in as many days, before Ryan Ledson clipped home to make it 2-0 inside 10 minutes.
Paul Tait’s side continued to dominate proceedings into the second half and eventually notched a third via Delial Brewster after neat work by Nathan Holland in second half stoppage time.
The victory leaves the Toffees second in the group with one game to play, knowing the winner of each of the three groups qualifies plus the best runner-up.
Looking for a response after slipping to a defeat against River Plate less than 24 hours previously, Everton meant business from the first whistle.
The industrious Michael Donohue beat his marker with less than a minute on the clock, but the winger’s deep cross was cleared with Calum Dyson lurking.
Donohue went one better on six minutes, providing a similar cross for Dowell to nod hod home at the far post to open the scoring.
A second followed less than three minutes later and it came via a move straight off the training ground.
Dowell turned provider, sliding his corner to the edge of the box for skipper Ledson to expertly divert the ball over the goalkeeper and into the stanchion to double the advantage.
Not content with two, the Blues went in search of a third and it nearly came on 13 minutes.
Jordan Thorniley’s flicked header found Jonjoe Kenny, who improvised well to release a shot that required a last-gasp clearance.
Everton continued to control the game in the second half, restricting their opponents to only half-sights at goal.
Galaxy, however, eventually managed to manufacture a clear opening with 15 minutes remaining - but goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt pulled off an outstanding save from point-blank range to keep the two-goal lead intact.
The young Blues continued to look the more likely in the closing stages and were buoyed by the introduction of the lively Holland.
The 16-year-old provided a cross for Kenny, who could only fire wide at the back post.
Kenny then provided a superb ball over the Galaxy defence to release Delial Brewster, but the striker could only shoot wide after being sent through on goal.
Curtis Langton also went close with his first meaningful touch, but his right-footed effort whizzed narrowly over the crossbar.
The third eventually came with virtually the last kick of the game as Holland beat his marker before finding Brewster, who made no mistake in drilling home into the bottom right corner.
The final group game against Japanese outfit Ryutsu-Keizai University FC will take place on Wednesday 1 April at 2pm local time (8pm GMT).