Yerry Mina equalised in the 99th minute as relegation-threatened Everton secured a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and a precious point in its bid to avoid dropping out of the Premier League.
Wolves took the lead in the first half as winger Adama Traore carried the ball from the edge of his own box before his shot was parried into the path of Hwang Hee-Chan, who had a simple finish for his fourth goal of the campaign.
But centre back Mina proved the saviour for the visitors after Wolves goalkeeper Dan Bentley, who was jittery under the high ball all game, failed to collect a cross from deep.
It fell to Michael Keane, who passed low for Mina to sweep the ball into the net with virtually the last kick of the match after nine minutes had been added for stoppage time.
Everton is two points above the relegation zone but have now played a game more than their rivals and will be anxiously watching the results of Leeds United and Leicester City as they could potentially be in the bottom three going into their final fixture at home to Bournemouth next Sunday.
“We wanted to win the game. We knew they would take risks – they’re fighting for their Premier League lives,” Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves said.
“The only thing I can say is the nine minutes (of stoppage time). I asked the ref (David Coote) why. He said they’ve been asked to play exact times.
“I don’t know why they haven’t been doing it all season. If you want to do it, you need to do it all season and not only in the last two games.”
Everton has not had its cause helped by a growing injury crisis, having lost right back Nathan Patterson and, more crucially, forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the first half at Wolves.
The absence of Calvert-Lewin due to persistent injuries this season is one of the reasons why Everton are in a relegation scrap, but they also potentially will have no fit senior left- or right-backs going into the crucial Bournemouth game.
Calvert-Lewin had three good chances early on as Everton started much the brighter and had six efforts on goal before Wolves got their first, which turned out to be Hwang’s opener.
Wolves were much improved after the break and had a succession of chances they put wide of goal, failing to kill off the contest and leaving Everton with hope of a morale-boosting point right up to the final whistle.
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