Raphinha earns Leeds point in 2-2 draw against Everton
LEEDS, England (AP) — Raphinha’s superb second-half finish clinched Leeds a 2-2 draw in its first home Premier League game of the season against Everton.
The Brazilian winger crashed home a second-half equalizer — his third goal in as many games against the Toffees — as Leeds twice hit back to earn its first point of the new campaign.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first-half penalty was canceled out by Mateusz Klich before the break and after Demarai Gray restored the visitors’ lead, Raphinha had the last word in a typically thrilling Leeds encounter.
Elland Road was turned into a sea of yellow before kickoff as most home fans in a capacity crowd — the first here since March 2020 — swirled flags found under their seats to mark the occasion.
Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure’s early shot flew wide and Leeds set a typically breathless pace.
The visitors were awarded a penalty after referee Darren England had watched a replay of Liam Cooper’s tangle with Calvert-Lewin and the Everton man coolly converted to give his side a 30th-minute lead.
But Leeds deservedly hit back to equalize before halftime. Patrick Bamford slipped his marker, Michael Keane, on the edge of the area and his ball inside was expertly dispatched by the supporting Klich.
Gray combined superbly with Calvert-Lewin to create one chance for the latter and then struck the game’s third goal as Everton regained the lead in the 50th minute.
Doucoure slipped a pass inside the box to the former Birmingham and Leicester player and his low angled shot went through Stuart Dallas’ legs on its way into the far corner.
Leeds wobbled as Gray led Everton in pursuit of a game-clinching third goal before rallying as the game entered the final quarter and then lifting the roof with a thumping equalizer in the 72nd.
Liam Cooper teed up Raphinha on the edge of the box following Kalvin Phillips’ cross and the Brazilian lashed home an unstoppable left-footed shot.
The game hung in the balance as Leeds substitute Tyler Roberts’ cross-cum-shot forced Jordan Pickford into a near-post save.
At the other end, Richarlison curled a shot inches wide and Everton substitute Andros Townsend forced goalkeeper Illan Meslier into a low save.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports