Begovic: Bhoys Win Gives Us Boost

Asmir Begovic says Everton's penalty shootout victory over Celtic will help rebuild the squad's confidence after a disappointing final week before the World Cup break.

More than 41,000 spectators packed into Accor Stadium in Australia to watch the Blues take on the reigning Scottish champions in the Sydney Super Cup.

After a goalless 90 minutes, Michael Keane, Tom Cannon, Nathan Patterson and Anthony Gordon all scored from 12 yards to seal a 4-2 spot-kick victory and send Everton's Australian fanbase home happy.

Both teams had chances in regular time, with Demarai Gary denied by two deflections and Neal Maupay also going close to finding the net.

At the other end, captain-for-the-day Begovic made a series of fine saves, including one from point-blank range from Kyogo Furuhashi in the second half.

Speaking to evertontv afterwards, Begovic said: "Of course, it's always nice to win. Every good performance, every good result helps with that [confidence]. 

"We had a difficult week and that's how quickly things can change in football - one bad week and things can look a little bit doom and gloom, but we're going to try to rebuild. 

"We've got a good break here coming up as well. Hopefully we can finish the tour with another good performance and result on Wednesday and then take stock from there and see what we can do in the second half of the season.

"Today's result was good for the atmosphere and obviously very important to our fans here. There was a huge number of them here and I didn't know we had this many fans in Australia, to be honest. 

"It just shows how big of a club Everton is. We always talk about it but whenever we travel, you see Blues all around and it just confirms that feeling and shows the tradition of the fanbase around the world. 

"It's been great to come here - I know Everton haven't been here in a long time, so to come here and see the fans and put on a performance for them is very pleasing.

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WATCH VIDEO 02:20 Wed 23 Nov 2022


Match highlights as Blues win on penalties in Sydney.

"It was nice to win, nice to put on a performance, and when you play a team like Celtic you know you're always going to be in for a competitive game - that's exactly what we got today.

"I think the commitment, the effort the attitude was spot on, which is exactly what you need. 

"Obviously, we've had a long few days travelling and everything so we need to be fully committed to get a performance and that's exactly what we did. It's nice to get the reward at the end."

Discussing his save to deny Japan international Kyogo, Begovic added: "Just to make myself as big as possible. Obviously, he is the favourite to score in that situation so for me, it's just about making myself as big as possible and giving it a go. 

"It's nice to contribute when called upon. The boys in front of me did a great job all game. I thought we were really tight, compact and aggressive as a unit but, of course, if it comes through and you can help with a couple of saves then that's a good thing for me."

Isaac Price started the game and impressed for the Toffees against the Hoops, while fellow Academy graduates Tom Cannon and Stanley Mills were introduced as second-half substitutes.

Begovic lauded the impact and confidence of the young trio, with all three stepping up to take penalties in the shootout and Price and Cannon converting their efforts.

"It's impressive," said Begovic. "Some of the young lads are with us in training and they've been getting appearances here and there. 

"You can see the development, you can see the growth. 

"Everton are very famous for bringing through their Academy players and I think there are a few boys here who have a chance to progress and play their part in years to come. 

"I thought Isaac was outstanding today but so were the other boys when they came on - they did a really good job and helped us get the win."

On the honour of captaining Everton, Begovic added: "It's special. It's always nice to captain a team. I understand my role in the team on the leadership side of things and, obviously, it's very, very special to captain this fantastic club. 

"It's always nice when you win, too!"