Everton’s poor start in the Europa League continued as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park by Cypriot outfit Apollon Limassol, who finished the game with 10 men.

A fortnight on from the woeful 3-0 away defeat to Atalanta in their Group E opener, Everton fell behind in the 13th minute when Adrian Sardinero netted following a mistake by Ashley Williams.

Eight minutes later they capitalised on an error from Apollon’s Hector Yuste, with Wayne Rooney stroking in his first European goal for Everton, and substitute Nikola Vlasic then opened his Toffees account by slotting home in the 66th minute.

That looked set to be the winner, but a chaotic finish to the contest saw the away side have Valentin Roberge sent off, then equalise moments later through Yuste’s header, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin blew a superb opportunity to secure victory for the hosts at the death.

What they said

Everton boss Ronald Koeman said: “They are afraid in (how they are) playing. That’s difficult in the situation like we are – we are missing seven, eight players (through injury). Maybe that’s too much in the situation that the team is. We’ve had two wins and a win today makes a difference. It’s in the heads of the players, you can help them, support them, make it clear for everybody, give the players confidence, but finally by the whistle I don’t play the ball back. It’s up to the player – give the player options. We are scared, we are afraid to play forward and that makes it difficult.”

Tweet of the match

Star man – Vlasic

Everton were lacking a cutting edge in the first period and their improvement after the break had much to do with Vlasic’s introduction at the start of it. The teenager displayed a cool head to roll them ahead in the 66th minute and produced a terrific cross for substitute Calvert-Lewin that was almost finished off to earn the hosts the win late on.

More European disappointment for Everton

Two games in and the Toffees sit bottom of Group E with just one point to their credit. After losing to Atalanta in the opening game, this draw leaves them behind the Italians, Lyon and Apollon. A draw between Lyon and Atalanta means Koeman’s side are still very much in the picture for a fourth straight group-stage qualification in this competition, but they need to start picking up wins as they head into a double-header against the French outfit next.

Rooney in the wars again

Five days after being left with a cut above his eye and a bloodied face from Bournemouth defender Simon Francis’ arm, Rooney picked up another injury having damaged his left hand or wrist when attempting an overhead kick in the first half. The fourth official had the board ready to replace Rooney but the 31-year-old put on a bandage and something, presumably painkillers, in his mouth before continuing for the rest of the game with minimal fuss.

Player ratings

Limassol denied Everton the winHector Yuste celebrates scoring the equaliser (Peter Byrne/PA)

Everton: Jordan Pickford: 6, Jonjoe Kenny: 7, Mason Holgate: 5, Ashley Williams: 5, Leighton Baines: 6, Tom Davies: 5, Idrissa Gana Gueye: 5, Morgan Schneiderlin: 6, Wayne Rooney: 6, Sandro Ramirez: 5, Gylfi Sigurdsson: 7. Substitutes: Nikola Vlasic (on for Gueye, 46): 7, Davy Klaassen (on for Davies, 67): 6, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (on for Sandro, 67): 6.

Who’s up next?

Everton v Burnley (Premier League, October 1)

Apollon Limassol v Nea Salamis Famagusta (Cypriot First Division, October 1)