Everton Under-18s coach Paul Tait said his side "did everything to try to win" after seeing them held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United in an entertaining game at USM Finch Farm.
Korede Adedoyin had put the Blues ahead inside the opening minute of the second half, but Largie Ramazani restored parity on the hour.
Despite a gripping second half, the match was a somewhat tame affair before the break, with both sides struggling to create clear-cut openings.
However, just before the 20-minute mark, the Blues would carve out the first real chance.
Joe Anderson pounced on a loose ball inside the United half before driving forward and letting fly with a low drive that was tipped past the post by Alex Fojticek in the United goal.
Anderson soon went close to breaking the deadlock again, this time connecting perfectly with Stephen Duke-McKenna’s cross-field ball, only to be denied by Fojticek.
At the other end, United's best chance of the first half came three minutes before the interval.
Aidan Barlow raced clear of the Blues’ backline before seeing his toe poke superbly blocked by the onrushing Nicolas Hansen in the Everton goal.
Blues boss Tait made a double substitution at the interval, bringing on both Ellis Simms and Adedoyin for Manasse Mampala and Anderson respectively.
And the duo made the perfect impact by helping to fire Everton ahead inside 60 seconds.
Simms collected Michael Collins' long ball forward before playing the ball out to Elliot Richards on the right. The full-back then crossed for Adedoyin, whose powerful header found the bottom corner of the net.
United went close to levelling 11 minutes later. Arnau Puigmal released Mason Greenwood, who rounded Hansen but saw his shot cleared off the line by Blues captain Con Ouzounidis.
Some neat play between Nathan Moore and Anthony Gordon down the Blues' left saw the latter tee up Simms just before the hour mark but United defender Max Dunne got back well to clear.
From there though, Everton were hit with what Tait described as the "ultimate sucker-punch" as the visitors went straight up the other end and equalised.
Barlow released substitute Ramazani, who raced clear before finishing confidently past Hansen.
The end-to-end pace continued with both sides going close to snatching all three points.
First, Simms was twice denied by Fojticek, before Gordon and Duke-McKenna both curled efforts wide from the edge of the box.
For United, centre-back Dunne headed Barlow's cross wide and substitute D'Mani Mellor failed to hit the target after finding space just inside the Blues’ box.
And in the final moments of the game, Tait's side were denied all three points by the woodwork.
Ouzounidis connected perfectly with Duke McKenna's deep cross, but the centre-back’s header rattled off the top of the crossbar, with the referee blowing the full-time whistle just seconds later.
"I thought in the second half we really took the game to United and we have been unlucky not to get all three points" Tait told evertonfc.com. "It was a real test, which it always is when you play United at any level. I was really happy with how the lads went about it, not just the work rate and graft, but our quality, too.
"The main thing is the lads did everything we asked of them. They listened and did everything to try to win the game.
"Overall, I'm really pleased; it was a really good game."
Everton: Hansen, Richards, Moore, Collins, Ouzounidis, Denny, Duke-McKenna, Kerr (Iverson), Mampala (Simms), Gordon, Anderson.
Substitutes not used: Johnson, Scully.
Manchester United: Fojticek, Ercolani (Ramazani), Williams (Laird), Dunne, O'Connor, Garner, Tanner, Puigmal, Burkart (Mellor), Barlow, Greenwood.
Substitutes not used: Thompson, Levitt.