By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United Under-21s 2 (Newton, Tavernier)
Newcastle have still yet to concede a goal in this year's Citibank Hong Kong Football Club International Soccer Sevens as they marched into the semi-finals with a 2-0 win over local side Citizen.
Having been so impressive in topping their group on the opening day, United were not quite at their best in the last eight tie but even in the humid temperatures of the Far East, they barely appeared to break sweat once racing into an early lead.
Conor Newton's fine free-kick inside the opening minute set them on their way before captain James Tavernier added a second and the Magpies will now face Rangers - who beat Manchester City 3-1 in their quarter-final tie - for a place in the final.
From Newcastle's first attack, Sammy Ameobi won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area and Newton placed a low shot beyond the goalkeeper for his first goal of the competition.
Then the flame-haired midfielder teed up Tavernier to sidefoot home in the third minute before having a drive saved at the near post.
As United pressed for a third, Michael Richardson turned defence into attack with a lovely curved pass along the ground for Ameobi, who found Bradden Inman but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper's legs.
Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley made two changes at the break, introducing Remie Streete and Rolando Aarons for Paul Dummett and Ameobi, and the boys in burgundy adopted a sensible approach to the second period.
Richardson made an important block to keep out Sham Kwok Keung's effort at the start of the second half but if another goal was going to come, it looked certain to go to the English side.
Inman made space before seeing his curler saved, then Tavernier won the ball in his own half and ran almost unchallenged but his strike was kept out.
But once again, it was job done for the Magpies although they will face a far tougher test against Rangers in the semi-final.
Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, James Tavernier, Paul Dummett (Remie Streete), Michael Richardson, Conor Newton, Bradden Inman (Steven Logan), Sammy Ameobi (Rolando Aarons)
Subs not used: None
Photograph courtesy of Garrige Ho/Two Up Front