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Season starts now for Everton

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 By PA Sport

Dominic Calvert-Lewin can thrive in two-man strike force - Koeman

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal of Thursday's second leg.

Ronald Koeman believes Dominic Calvert-Lewin could thrive in a two-man strike force after coolly firing Everton to a 1-0 victory at Ruzomberok.

England Under-20s star Calvert-Lewin slotted the winner in Slovakia as Everton booked their place in the Europa League playoff round.

Everton laboured in eastern Europe before replacement Calvert-Lewin sealed their 2-0 aggregate triumph 10 minutes from time, with Leighton Baines' first-leg strike always handing the visitors the upper hand.

Calvert-Lewin's goal sealed England's 1-0 win over Venezuela that sealed their Under-20 World Cup triumph in June, and now Koeman has hailed the 20-year-old's showing in Europa League qualifying.

"Maybe Dominic feels a bit more comfortable as one of two strikers. He's strong, he's fast and he scored a great goal," said Koeman, of Calvert-Lewin.

"It was a physical game and 90 minutes that the players needed. We are through to the next round and I'm really happy."

Big-money summer signing Jordan Pickford started in goal for Everton and kept a clean sheet, though came under precious little pressure.

Everton dominated possession but failed to make that pay, with Wayne Rooney again looking short of form.

Calvert-Lewin's smart finish sealed Everton's progress though, leaving Koeman satisfied with the night's work.

Everton will learn their opponents for the Europa League playoff on Friday, with Koeman admitting the club will throw everything at chasing a place in the competition's group stages.

"This competition has always been important for me," said Koeman. "I like to be in Europe -- it's important for our experience.

"It's good for the club, the players and the fans. It's not easy to reach the group stages but we will do everything to get there.

"Two victories, two clean sheets and I think we were better defensively tonight than we were last week.

"But we know that we can and need to improve in our ball possession. We need create more than we did."

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