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Moore makes it four goals in five outings since joining Everton.

By Robert Wagman (in Miami)
and Willie Calderon (in Bristol, England)

(Monday, February 14, 2000) United States midfielder Joe-Max Moore continued his scoring run with a first-half goal that put Everton on its way to a 2-1 victory over Derby County.

It was his fourth goal in five matches for Everton which maintained its unbeaten home record this season in the English Premier League.

The match started out with Derby attacking thanks to creative play of midfielders Geogi Kinkladze and Stefan Eranio. But Everton keeper Thomas Myhre was not seriously tested in any of the opening sequences.

In the 24th minute, Nick Barmby pushed the ball forward down the center of midfield to put Everton on a full sprinted breakaway. He was taken down harshly, but referee Uriah Rennie ruled advantage as Mark Pembridge quickly picked up the loose ball and passing to his right. Moore met the ball at the top of the penalty area and with his second touch fired a low, angled shot past Derby keeper Mart Poom. It was Moore's most impressive goal thus far.

Everton, which moved up to seventh in the standings, made it 2-0 on a 45th minute penalty kick struck by Michael Ball after former Major League Soccer defender Richard Gough was taken down in the penalty area. Closer review showed that Derby defender Spencer Prior caught Gough in the face with his arm inside the box. Ball easily put away his PK.

Derby pulled to within 2-1 when Kinkladze split his defenders with a pass towards the penalty box. Avi Nimni raced to meet the ball and served a left-footed shot past Myrhe.

American goalkeeper Ian Feuer remained on the bench for Cardiff in a 1-1 draw with Brentford.

In Spain, Rayo Vallecano got a 1-1 draw at second-place Real Zaragoza despite U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller admitting fault on the one Zaragoza goal. "It was a real goof on my part," Keller said.

Rayo started fast and had a number of good chances in the opening 10 minutes. But then against the run of play, Santi Aragon hit a high cross into the Rayo area, where Yordi beat the advancing Keller to the ball and headed it into the net.

Rayo then went back on the attack and dominated the rest of the match but could not draw level until Michel II got the equalizer eight minutes from the end.

"I gave them a gift in the 15th minute," said Keller, who recovered and played well for the remainder of the match. "So it's always great when your teammates can come back and pull one out for you. I made the mistake. I misjudged the ball which was actually a little too far out. I came out for it, but I didn't quite get there. At this level you pay for errors like that."

In the Netherlands, American midfielder John O'Brien did not figure on seeing much action for Ajax which defeated Willem II 3-1. But in the fourth minute, Ajax defender Nadat Vierklau reinjured a hamstring and O'Brien replaced him. Aron Winter moved to center defense for short-handed Ajax and O'Brien moved into his defensive midfield role.

By all accounts, O'Brien played well over the next 86 plus minutes for Ajax which earned a much-needed victory.

In Germany, U.S. midfielder Tony Sanneh did not play for Hertha Berlin which was demolished by Werder Bremen 4-1.

Another American mid, Frankie Hedjuk did not appear for Bayer Leverkusen in a 1-0 defeat of VfB Stuttgart.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at SoccerWag1@aol.com. Willy Calderon, an American living in Brighton, England, can be e-mailed at willy@netcity.co.uk.

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