Hull City 2 Newcastle United 2
Ayoze Pérez’s late equaliser salvaged a draw for Newcastle United as four goals were shared at Hull City’s KCOM Stadium.
The Championship side were on the cusp of a comeback victory on a balmy evening on Humberside, only for Pérez to intervene with less than five minutes left to play.
Frontman Joselu rewarded United for a bright start by breaking the deadlock early on, but the Magpies were pegged back before the break as Dan Batty’s effort deflected off DeAndre Yedlin and squirmed past goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
They were punished for a slow start to the second half by Brazilian attacker Evandro, who swept home from a central position after being the quickest to a loose ball. But, just as Nigel Adkins’ troops looked set to record a morale-boosting win, Pérez found the net with the simplest of finishes from close range.
Though Hull’s David Marshall was forced to backtrack across his line to tip wide a Callum Roberts cross early on, it took more than ten minutes for the Magpies to register a meaningful attempt at goal. Joselu helped the ball into Jacob Murphy’s path down the left, and the wide-man cleared the crossbar from just inside the area.
That opportunity had come as the result of a superb Jonjo Shelvey pass, and the midfielder was the architect once more as United opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour. He floated the ball over the top of the Tigers’ defence, and – after holding his line – Joselu strode forward before firing low beyond Marshall.
There was a brief scare at the other end midway through the half, with Jamaal Lascelles forced into a last-gasp block to divert Nouha Dicko’s effort away from goal. The Magpies then countered quickly, only to see a promising move break down after Matt Ritchie was felled 20 yards out. Shelvey’s attempt was palmed away by Marshall, but with Hull struggling to clear their lines, Ritchie was tripped again – in almost an identical position. This time, the Scot took the free kick himself, but Marshall managed to parry once more. Still, Murphy was able to turn the loose ball goalbound, but Stephen Kingsley managed to clear off the line.
Newcastle had looked reasonably solid for much of the opening period, but – less than five minutes before the break – they were undone by a scrappy goal. Evandro managed to find room to deliver a cutback from the right byline, and Batty’s untidy effort took a nick off Yedlin before trickling over the line.
While United took to the field with a markedly different line-up after the interval, Hull’s remained relatively settled, and the Tigers looked the more purposeful side as the second half got underway. Only a superb Freddie Woodman block denied Dicko after the forward had got in beyond the Magpies’ backline, with Kingsley and Evandro both trying their luck before the hour-mark, too.
The Magpies didn’t heed the warning signs, and Rafa Benítez’s side found themselves trailing just moments later. Dicko’s presence again asked questions of United’s defence, and – as he tried to dispossess the forward – Isaac Hayden’s challenge only succeeded in teeing up Evandro, who lashed the ball beyond Woodman from 12 yards.
Though recent acquisition Ki Sung-Yeung entered the fray for his debut – replacing ex-Swansea City teammate Shelvey – the Magpies struggled to respond to falling behind. Meanwhile, Dicko’s substitution cooled the Tigers’ own attacking threat, with the tempo of the game dropping considerably.
Out of nothing, though, they were gift-wrapped a chance to increase their lead, with Woodman’s pass falling straight at the feet of Dicko’s replacement, Will Keane. The frontman rounded United’s stopper but delayed his shot, and ultimately fired straight into the side-netting after taking the ball too wide.
That miss was to cost the Tigers, as Newcastle snatched a leveller with less than five minutes remaining. After another Ritchie free kick was palmed wide, Ki’s corner was nodded down by Ciaran Clark into the path of Pérez, whose straightforward back-post finish made sure United avoided a first pre-season defeat.