Club Atlas 2 Newcastle 1
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United suffered a 2-1 defeat against Club Atlas in the first pre-season friendly of their American tour
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Miller Park, Milwaukee
Club Atlas 2 (Bergessio 11, 17)
Newcastle United 1 (Sissoko 45)
Newcastle United suffered a 2-1 defeat against Club Atlas in the first pre-season friendly of their American tour.
All the goals came in the first half at Miller Park, in Milwaukee, with a quickfire brace from impressive Argentine striker Gonzalo Ruben Bergessio putting the Mexican side firmly in control before Moussa Sissoko halved the deficit in stoppage time.
Bergessio opened the scoring from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Jamaal Lascelles, and the same player doubled his - and Atlas' - tally just minutes later with a brilliant volleyed lob over Tim Krul.
But the Magpies found their feet as the first period wore on and after Papiss Cisse threatened on a couple of occasions, Sissoko found the back of the net with virtually the last kick of the half.
United dominated after the break and thought they had equalised when Cisse's header was saved right on the goalline by Atlas keeper Miguel Angel Pinto.
Siem de Jong was then inches away following a fine one-two with Sissoko, but it wasn't to be for Steve McClaren's men, who face Sacramento Republic in their next game on Saturday.
Newcastle almost broke the deadlock inside the opening two minutes.
The French forward, who had raced inside from his position on the left flank, took a great first touch on his chest but was unable to sneak a shot past Miguel Angel Pinto at his near post, with the goalkeeper saving well.
Atlas hit back almost immediately, with front man Bergessio firing a rising 20-yard free-kick inches over the bar.
But the same player made no mistake in the 11th minute as he stroked the Mexican outfit ahead from the penalty spot.
As Bergessio made his way across the penalty area, Lascelles slid in to win the ball but instead sent his opponent tumbling. Referee Kevin Terry Jr. had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Bergession duly sent Krul the wrong way.
Just five minutes later, Club Atlas doubled their advantage and it came once more from the Argentine forward Bergessio.
Receiving Christian Alejandro Tabo's chipped pass at an awkward height, Bergession proceeded to lob an outstanding volley over Krul from 15 yards - making an incredibly difficult finish look so simple.
It was almost 3-0 on 22 minutes as Bergessio went in search of his hat-trick. Again he tried to catch Krul out but saw his angled dink drop onto the top of the crossbar and away to safety.
United were stunned but slowly tried to regain a foothold in the contest and nearly halved the deficit just past the half-hour mark, but a well-worked move down the right involving Daryl Janmaat and Sissoko was unable to be finished off by Papiss Cisse.
The Senegalese front man then nodded Sissoko's deep cross down and into the side netting, shortly before captain-for-the-night Jack Colback dragged a effort wide of the target.
And they got their just reward right on the stroke of half-time. Cisse played in Sissoko on the right-hand side of the penalty area, and the French powerhouse took a touch to steady himself before firing a low shot past Pinto at his near post.
Ten minutes into the second period, the Magpies could have been level - and felt they should have been, too.
Cisse snuck in front of his marker at the near post to meet Colback's right-wing corner, and it looked as though it was possibly over the line when Pinto smothered it. United's players certainly felt so but their appeals fell on deaf ears.
They went close again just before the hour mark through de Jong.
The Dutch schemer exchanged passes with Sissoko but sent his first-time effort bouncing agonisngly wide after it had beaten Pinto.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, head coach McClaren made six changes and one of those, Rolando Aarons, almost fashioned an equaliser in the 83rd minute with a low delivery which flew right across the face of goal.
A corner in stoppage time offered one final chance but Newcastle were unable to force it home and suffered a 2-1 defeat.
Club Atlas (4-4-2): Miguel Angel Pinto; Eisner Ivan Loboa (Felipe Abdiel Baloy 83), Walter Kannemann (Carlos Alberto Arreola 72), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Luis Fernando Telles 83), Juan Carlos Ivan Pineda; Juan Carlos Medina, Aldo Leao Ramirez (c) (Rodolfo Salinas 78), Franco Faustino Arizala, Christian Alejandro TabÃ³ (Martin Barragan 80); Jorge Alejandro ZÃ¡rate (Rodrigo Godinez 83), Gonzalo Ruben Bergessio (Luis Nery Caballero 72)
Subs not used: Miguel Angel Fraga, Alan Alfredo Lopez, Pablo Jesus Mascarenas, Juan Pablo Vigon, Juan de Dios Hernandez
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul (Karl Darlow 46); Daryl Janmaat (Gael Bigirimana 73), Mike Williamson, Jamaal Lascelles, Massadio Haidara (Shane Ferguson 73); Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback (c); Moussa Sissoko (Gabriel Obertan 73), Siem de Jong (Ayoze Perez 73), Yoan Gouffran (Rolando Aarons 73); Papiss Cisse (Adam Armstrong 73)
Sub not used: Freddie Woodman
Referee: Kevin Terry Jr.
Bookings: Club Atlas - Arizala (14), Kannemann (61); Newcastle United - Lascelles (29), Colback (64)