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Everton win Europa League group, qualify for knockout round

Germany Soccer Europa League

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, left, and Wolfsburg’s Junior Malanda challenge for the ball during the Europa League Group H soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Everton FC at the Volkswagen Arena stadium in Wolfsburg, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)


Everton’s European adventure will continue into 2015, as the Toffees qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Roberto Martinez’s men won 2-0 away at Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg on Thursday, despite being under pressure for vast swathed of the match, and secured top spot in Group H as they eased into the last 32.

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The Toffees went 1-0 up on the stroke of half time through Romelu Lukaku as he was set free by Kevin Mirallas and the Belgian slotted home to send Everton’s 5,000 plus traveling fans wild.

Wolfsburg have yet to qualify for the last 32 and were pushing hard to equalize as the Toffees sat back, soaked up the pressure and USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard made plenty of top saves and smart decisions in net.

With 15 minutes to go the perfect away display was complete as Mirallas and Lukaku switched roles with the latter teeing up his countryman to slot home. 2-0, game over.

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With their final game in Group H coming up at home against FK Krasnodar at Goodison Park in two weeks time, Everton’s fans can now relax knowing that they are a top seed for the knockout rounds and could come up against some of the big boys knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage.

So far, Everton’s first European campaign since 2009 has gone rather well with three wins and two draws from a very difficult group. As for Wolfsburg, they now need at least a point away at Lille in their final game to join Everton in the knockout stages. But if Lille beat Wolfsburg, they are through.

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