The Toffees were captained by Ukraine international Vitalii Mykolenko on the day one of the club’s key sponsors, Alisher Usmanov, was sanctioned by the British government amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Usmanov is a long-standing business partner of Everton owner British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri.
The Russian billionaire sponsored Everton’s training ground through his firm USM Holdings and had first-choice naming rights to the club’s new stadium.
Everton suspended their sponsorship deals with USM and other Russian companies Megafon and Yota on Monday and their advertising banners were hastily removed ahead of the fifth-round tie at Goodison Park.
FOOT. Work done already quarterfinals. Go Evertonians! ✊🔵 2-0 ⚫️ #EmiratesFACup https://t.co/VgqbCwwtas
— Everton (@Everton) 1646345265000
Both sides entered the field carrying Ukrainian flags to the tune of John Lennon’s anti-war song “Imagine.”
Once the action started, it was hard to imagine that there are 78 places between the sides in the pyramid of English football, as the fifth-tier Wood fought back.
Everton had very few chances before half-time, although there was an almost fairytale first goal for Mykolenko’s club when Taye Ashby-Hammond deflected his low shot.
Frank Lampard left Richarlison on the bench from the start, but the Brazil international was needed to cheer on Everton after the break.
Rondón should have opened the scoring when he headed in a cross from Jonjoe Kenny.
A message from the winner of tonight’s match! 👏@salorondon23 🔵 https://t.co/85r3GCDGtY
— Everton (@Everton) 1646348533000
The Venezuelan was brought to Goodison Park by unpopular former Everton boss Rafael Benítez when they merged into a third different club.
Rondon had scored just one club goal all season before Thursday but saved Lampard’s men from extra-time embarrassment, this time converting Kenny’s low cross in the 57th minute.
Richarlison had a second goal ruled out by VAR for offside, but Rondón secured the equalizer by forcing a header over the line six minutes from time.
Everton will travel to Crystal Palace in the quarter-finals.
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