Everton began their CONMEBAL Sudamericana campaign with a win at home to Columbian side Patriotas Boyacá on Wednesday evening in the first stage of the tournament.
Everton started brightly, retaining possession well, and nearly took an early lead when Raúl Becerra’s header crashed off the bar on 11 minutes.
Everton were later denied a penalty after the half-hour mark when striker Wilson Morelo was tripped, but the referee waved away protests to the dismay of the home side.
But the Ruleteros finally found a breakthrough nine minutes into the second half.
After Patriotas defender Jesús Murillo was penalised by the referee for a handball just outside the box, Maxi Cerrato stepped up to fire a free-kick low and hard, deceiving the jumping Patriotas players in the wall, into the corner of the goal to give Everton the lead.
The game became more open with both sides having good chances, but Everton held on to take a slender lead to Columbia in the second leg which will take place on Wednesday 31st May.
Attentions now turn to the visit of league leaders Deportes Iquique on Saturday.