Celebration


By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand

 

 

Newcastle United 4 (de Jong 19, Riviere 26, Yanga-Mbiwa 33, Armstrong 83)

Sydney FC 0

 

Newcastle United eased to a 4-0 victory over Sydney FC in the first pre-season friendly of their Football United Tour, in New Zealand.

First half strikes from Siem de Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa put the Magpies firmly in control at the break, before substitute Adam Armstrong added number four late on.

Former Ajax man de Jong got the ball rolling, shooting into an empty net after an error from opposing goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.

Riviere then turned home Yoan Gouffran's cross from the right and French international Yanga-Mbiwa netted with a long-range, deflected effort before half-time, having been afforded time and space to charge forward.

A raft of replacements from both sides disrupted the flow of the second period, but Armstrong provided a moment of quality with time ticking away, much to the delight of the crowd at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, in Dunedin.

And manager Alan Pardew will also be pleased with his side's dominant display from start to finish against their A-League opponents, and the fact that every outfield player selected saw game time.

The triumph also provided a fitting tribute to supporters John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were involved in last week's Malaysia Airlines tragedy while on their way to New Zealand to follow te team. A tribute was paid to the pair before kick-off.

United fashioned the first chance of the evening on nine minutes when full-back Massadio Haidara raced down the left and delivered a superb ball into the six-yard box.

However, Riviere - sliding in - was agonisingly inches short of connecting with the cross, as Sydney escaped unscathed.

But the Magpies eventually broke the deadlock in the 19th minute thanks to summer signing de Jong with his second goal in as many pre-season friendlies.

It was an absolute gift for the Dutch playmaker, with Sydney goalkeeper Ivan Necevski's shanked clearance falling into the path of Riviere, who duly teed up de Jong to sidefoot into the empty net from 20 yards.

And having taken the lead, Newcastle immediately went in search of goal number two, with centre-backs Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini both threatening from a corner.

Only a smart stop from Necevski prevented Gouffran from nodding home at the far post following impressive work from teenage winger Rolando Aarons.

But as the A-League outfit failed to properly clear the danger, United doubled their advantage seconds later.

Gouffran sent a low ball into the six-yard box from the right-hand side, and Riviere was on hand to sidefoot home a simple close-range finish.

The Magpies were coasting, and Yanga-Mbiwa made it three with just over half-an-hour played.

The full-back was allowed to race forward and cut inside, and his left-footed shot took a big deflection on its way past Necevski.

Haris Vuckic was introduced at the break in place of de Jong and threatened early on in the second period following more good work down the left by Aarons.

Fellow substitute Ayoze Perez fired over the top on 68 minutes after weaving his way through the Sydney rearguard, as Pardew started to ring the changes, ensuring plenty of his squad got minutes under their belt.

And it was one of those many replacements, Armstrong, who completed the scoring with seven minutes remaining.

Fed by an intelligent Adam Campbell pass, the rookie striker cut back inside his marker before cooly poking a left-footed strike into the bottom corner under pressure from a covering defender.

Sydney had to wait until the 88th minute to seriously threaten the Newcastle goal, with Peter Trantis' dipping half-volley narrowly bouncing wide of Rob Elliot's upright.

But United's clean sheet remained in tact to complete a successful evening's work at both ends of the pitch.

 

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor (Lubo Satka 76), Fabricio Coloccini (c) (Adam Campbell 82), Massadio Haidara (Paul Dummett 76); Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback (Mehdi Abeid 68); Yoan Gouffran (Adam Armstrong 76), Siem de Jong (Haris Vuckic 46), Rolando Aarons (Sammy Ameobi 68); Emmanuel Riviere (Ayoze Perez 55)

Subs not used: Jak Alnwick, Freddie Woodman

 

Sydney FC (4-4-2): Ivan Necevski; Sebastian Ryall, Sasa Ognenovski (c), Nikola Petkovic, Alexander Gersbach (Matthew Jurman 68); Ali Abbas, Nick Carle (Milos Dimitrijevic 56), Terry Antonis, Alex Brosque (Peter Trantis 63); Corey Gameiro (Max Burgess 81), Bernie Ibini-Isei

Subs not used: Vedran Janjetovic, Pedj Bojic, George Timotheu, Themba Muata-Marlow

 

Referee: Campbell-Kirk Waugh

 

Bookings: Newcastle - none; Sydney - Petkovic (40), Ognenovski (72)