Portland Timbers 4 Newcastle 3
Written by Newcastle Utd
United suffered a 4-3 defeat against Portland Timbers 2 in the final game of their pre-season tour of America
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Providence Park, Portland
Portland Timbers '2' 4 (Fatawu 13, Manning 24, Peay 30, Besler 70)
Newcastle United 3 (Wijnaldum 6, Aarons 75, 76)
Newcastle United suffered a 4-3 defeat against Portland Timbers 2 in the third and final game of their pre-season tour of America.
Georginio Wijanldum got the Magpies off to the perfect start at Providence Park when he converted a Rolando Aarons cross but Timbers came roaring back and turned the friendly fixture on its head.
Fatawu, Anthony Manning and Taylor Peay were all on target before half-time for the hosts, and when Nick Besler made it 4-1 with 20 minutes remaining it looked to be game over for Steve McClaren's side.
However, Aarons had other idea and two goals in as many minutes from the Academy graduate - an overhead kick and a long range effort - set up a nervous finale.
But despite some heavy late pressure, United were unable complete the comeback, and head back to England where they will face Sheffield United, York City and Borussia Monchengladbach in three further friendlies.
Newcastle broke the deadlock with just six minutes played, and it came via the right boot of Wijnaldum.
Aarons had already ventured forward from his left-back berth on a couple of occasions before getting in behind the hosts' rearguard yet again.
Having got to the byline, the youngster had the composure to pick out Wijnaldum with a low delivery, and the Dutch international made a first-time, side foot finish look simple.
However, it didn't take Portland long to level things up.
A slip from Lubo Satka allowed Kharlton Belmar to race towards goal, and although Karl Darlow did well to stop keep out his strike, Fatawu was following up to fire home the rebound, much to the delight of most within Providence Park.
But they fell behind on 24 minutes as Manning connected with captain Michael Nanchoff's deep, inswinging free-kick to thump a header past Darlow at the far post.
And on the half-hour mark the host made it 3-1. Another Nanchoff set-piece - this time a corner - caused chaos, and centre-back Rennico Clarke rose highest to head down into the path of Peay, who took a touch before netting from inside the six-yard box.
And Armstrong and Obertan combined immediately to set up a chance for Yoan Gouffran, which the French forward scuffed wide under pressure.
Newcastle were in control and England Under-18 starlet Armstrong was then denied by a fine stop from Gleeson as he tried to send an angled drive into the far corner, shortly before Ayoze Perez drilled over the top from the edge of the area.
But despite their dominance in the opening exchanges of the second period, it was Portland who came within inches of grabbing a fourth of the evening.
Nanchoff's set-pieces had been outstanding all game and so it proved again, as the Timbers skipper curled a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and against the underside of the crossbar, with the ball somehow bouncing down and out before being scrambled clear.
And it was 4-1 in the 70th minute, as Besler headed home.
Jeanderson picked up the ball wide on the right and swung a left-footed cross towards the far post, where Besler snuck in ahead of Gael Bigirimana to nod past the helpless Woodman.
That looked to be game over but Aarons had other ideas and the wide man netted twice in as many minutes to get the Magpies back in touching distance.
First, when Bigirimana's right wing cross arrived at his feet with his back to goal, Aarons teed himself up to plant a brilliant overhead kick into the top corner, and then just seconds after the restart he drilled home a rising strike from the edge of the area.
Substitute Siem de Jong almost levelled on 78 minutes but his fierce free-kick was pushed over the top by Portland goalkeeper Justin Luthy, and although the visitors huffed and puffed, they were unable to blow the Portland house down.
Portland Timbers 2 (4-5-1): Jake Gleeson (Justin Luthy 49); Taylor Peay, Rennico Clarke, Anthony Manning, Andy Thoma; Jeanderson, Michael Nanchoff (c), George Fochive, Nick Besler, Fatawu (Blair Gavin 64); Kharlton Belmar (Rundell Winchester 64)
Subs not used: Harrison Delbridge, Matt Rose, Santiago Biglieri, Seth Casiple, Steven Evans, Tim Payne
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Karl Darlow (Freddie Woodman 46); Gael Bigirimana, Lubomir Satka, Shane Ferguson, Rolando Aarons; Mehdi Abeid (Vurnon Anita 65), Georginio Wijnaldum (Daryl Janmaat 46); Moussa Sissoko (c) (Gabriel Obertan 46), Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran (Siem de Jong 75); Papiss Cisse (Adam Armstrong 46)
Subs not used: none
Referee: Levi Rippy
Bookings: Portland Timbers 2 - Fochive (77); Newcastle United - Abeid (62)