Newcastle 1 Fenerbahce 1
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle conceded a last-minute equaliser as they drew 1-1 in friendly action with Fenerbahce on Saturday
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At the the Sonnenseestadion, Ritzing, Austria
Newcastle United 1 (Abeid 76)
Fenerbahce 1 (Baroni 90)
Newcastle conceded a last-minute equaliser as they drew 1-1 in friendly action with Fenerbahce on Saturday night.
Mehdi Abeid's second half strike looked to have been enough to hand United victory, when he netted from close range, but Christian Baroni popped up with almost the last kick of the match to level things up.
It was still an impressive result for the Magpies, who were under heavy pressure at times but held firm until the final seconds, and they completed their tour of Germany and Austria with a win, a draw and a defeat.
United had chances to put the game out of sight, with Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse in particular going close, but there will be plenty of positives for manager Alan Pardew to take from the fixture, as Newcastle get set to embark on a Europa League campaign this term.
Ryan Taylor tried his luck inside the opening two minutes, direct from a free-kick, but his 25-yard effort was cleanly gathered by goalkeeper Mert Gunok, having bounced off the wet surface.
But the first real goalscoring chance came on 12 minutes and went the way of the Turkish side. As they pressed forward, the ball found its way to the feet of midfielder Baroni, but he could only lash wildly off target when he should have done much better.
Baroni then turned provider soon after, feeding the ball into the path of Alex, with the veteran attacking midfielder scooping his left-footed shot over the top.
It took United a while to find their feet offensively, but Taylor almost caught Gunok out in the 24th minute with a deep cross that almost sneaked in at the far post, after good work from Sylvain Marveaux and Gosling.
Gunok was equal to Gosling's speculative shot from distance just past the half hour mark, while with the interval approaching the same player looped a header inches over the crossbar, having connected with Danny Simpson's cross.
Within seconds of the restart, Fenerbahce winger Miroslav Stoch went agonisingly close with a rising drive, before former Liverpool front man Dirk Kuyt's impressive volley rippled the side netting.
It was beoming one-way traffic, and on 53 minutes Alex cut inside before firing a left-footed strike just off target as Turkish pressure grew.
However, Newcastle knew they still possessed a goal threat and neat interplay between substitute Sammy Ameobi and Demba Ba gave the latter a yard of space in the box, only to see Serdar Kesimal make a superb block as he pulled the trigger.
Having already introduced Sammy Ameobi at half-time, United boss Pardew made a couple more changes early in the second period.
As is commonplace in pre-season friendlies, a flurry of further substitutions from both sides followed, but rather than disrupt the game, the Magpies broke the deadlock on 76 minutes.
And it was one of their replacements, Abeid, who had been on the pitch all of three minutes before firing home. Bigirimana hoisted a ball into the box and teenager Abeid impressively held off a defender before turning and slotting home from close range.
Shola Ameobi went close to doubling the advantage almost immediately, but sent a volley into the turf and narrowly over the bar, while Papiss Cisse almost embarrassed Gunok with a chipped 30-yard effort that the keeper had to tip away for a corner.
But just as it looked as if Newcastle had done enough to claim an impressive win, Fenerbache struck. Stoch worked space for himself before feeding Baroni, and the midfielder hit a low, first-time effort into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Elliot.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Danny Simpson (Davide Santon 68), James Tavernier, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Cheick Tiote (Gael Bigirimana 59), Dan Gosling (Mehdi Abeid 73); Gabriel Obertan (Shola Ameobi 75), Haris Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 46), Sylvain Marveaux (Jonas Gutierrez 59); Demba Ba (Papiss Cisse 68)
Fenerbahce (4-2-3-1): Mert Gunok; Orhan Sam, Bekir Irtegun, Serdar Kesimal, Hasan Ali Kaldirim; Mehmet Topal (Henri Bienvenu 85), Cristian Baroni; Dirk Kuyt (Semih Senturk 68), Alex De Souza (c) (Selcuk Sahin 68), Miroslav Stoch; Moussa Sow (Mehmet Topuz 46)
Subs not used: Serkan Kirintili, Gokhan Gonul, Salih Ucan, Recep Niyaz, Caner Erkin, Ozer Hurmaci, Sezer Ozturk, Volkan Demirel
Referee: Paul Petho