Everton Under-18s kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the Dallas Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Kyoto Sanga on Monday.
Nathan Broadhead’s penalty and Delial Brewster’s fine individual goal, either side of a spot-kick from Kosuke Tanaka, earned the win against the Japanese team.
A number of different permutations could see Everton progress but a win against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday is needed if the Young Blues are to stand a chance of making it through to the last-four of the tournament.
While the 1-0 defeat against Tigres 24 hours earlier had been played at the 90,000 capacity Cotton Bowl stadium, the clash with Kyoto Sanga took place at a windswept Richland College.
Coach Kevin Sheedy made one change to the team named the previous day, with Alex Denny coming in to replace the suspended Josef Yarney.
Everton’s forward line was led throughout by the impressive Brewster - and a surging run from the striker brought about the opening goal on 10 minutes.
The Southport-born youngster was upended in the area and Broadhead stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick.
Everton totally bossed the first half and they were unlucky to go into the break only holding a one-goal advantage.
Winger Liam Morris fired into the side-netting from a promising position and Brewster forced the opposition keeper into low save from another powerful drive forward.
In the closing stages of the half, Broadhead twice drifted in from the left and hit curling shots that also went close.
The only chance of note for the Japanese side before the interval was an inswinging corner which was caught up in the wind and clipped the crossbar.
Knowing that a bigger margin of victory would enhance chances of qualifying for the semi-finals, Everton pushed forward for more goals after the interval.
Set-piece taker Broadhead whipped a free-kick from distance just over the bar as the Young Blues continued to play positively.
Everton were dealt a setback on 65 minutes, however, when Tanaka levelled via a penalty after full-back James Yates had committed a foul inside the box.
The response from the Toffees was top-drawer and the lead was regained a quarter of an hour before the end thanks to a tremendous solo goal from Brewster, who collected the ball on halfway, burst forward and finished emphatically with his left foot.
Moments later, the same player very nearly did the same thing again, this time being denied by the goalkeeper after carrying the ball 50 yards forward.
Brewster was excellent throughout and the youngster, who had a loan spell with Stockport County earlier in the season, went close once more late on, this time with a shot from the edge of the area that clipped the post.
The 2-1 victory means Everton enter the final match with a chance of topping Group B or even claiming the best runner-up position - but a win over Real Salt Late is needed for any of those scenarios to happen.
Pierce, Yates, Lees, Harrington, Mellen, Baningime, Denny, Kiersey, Morris, Broadhead, Brewster (Subs not used: Johnson, Virtanen, Corke, Moore)