LIVERPOOL - It was the match that Everton simply could not lose - and they did not let anyone down by beating Everton 2-0 in a prestigious pre-season friendly at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Everton of England, that is, who beat Everton of Chile in the first meeting between the two clubs, the South American one being formed 101 years ago after the other one went on a tour of South America in 1909.
The first unusual feature of the evening was the scoreboard which read: "Everton 0, Everton 0" at kick-off and "Everton 2 Everton 0" at the end thanks to second-half goals from Jermaine Beckford, who headed home after 51 minutes, and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who volleyed in 14 minutes later.
While both Evertons ran out to the familiar strains of the 1960s television police drama "Z-Cars", not many matches at Goodison have taken place against an incessant rhythm of South American drumbeats, whistles and bells from around 40 visiting fans in one corner of the ground.
The home Everton wore their traditional blue shirts and white shorts while the visitors changed their strip. Naturally their strip is blue and white as well, but they played in all-yellow.
The match itself was hugely entertaining and gave Everton their fifth successive pre-season victory and the background to the match is intriguing.
A group of Anglo-Chilean teenagers founded Everton of Vina del Mar in honour of the original Everton, formed in 1878. There are also Evertons in Uruguay and Argentina.
The bond between the two clubs who met for the Brotherhood Cup on Wednesday began to be forged in 1977 when John Shearon, then a teenaged fan of the English club, read a report of a game played by the Chilean club in an Everton match programme.
He soon made the first of a number of visits to Chile and in 2002 formed the Ruleteros Society in Liverpool with the idea of forging links with the Chilean club.
Ruleteros is the Chilean club's nickname - meaning roulette players after the gambling resort of Vina del Mar.
"We have been working on this match since 2002 when we set up the Ruleteros Society," Shearon told Reuters.
"Then it was just a dream but we have been lobbying the club for some time to get this match played. We would have loved it to have happened last year when Everton had their centenary but that was not possible.
"But it's being shown live on television in Chile and really is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people."
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright added in the club programme: "I would imagine that from the day Mr David Foxley founded tonight's opponents in 1909 there has been a hope that one day the Chilean and English Everton Football Clubs would play against each other.
"There may be more than 6,000 miles between us ... but a real kindred spirit and friendship has been firmly established between our two football clubs."
The visitors have won the Chilean title four times, and although they are midway through their current league campaign were given special dispensation by their FA to play the match.
Their coach, Nelson Acosta, who coached Chile at the 1998 World Cup finals in France, said the club were honoured to be playing at Goodison Park.
"It's an historic occasion for the two Evertons," he said.
"It is the first time a Chilean club side has been invited at club level to play in Europe and we are proud to be the first to do that.
"Over the years there have been links and similarities between the two clubs and, and this goes beyond the world of football.
"We are in the realms of cultural and historic links and between the two countries and our two cities."comments