Half time: Newcastle 0 Porto
90 mins Reabciuk shot 0-1
Full time: Newcastle 0 Porto 1
hopes of reaching the Premier League International Cup Final ended at
Gallowgate on Thursday evening, as the defending champions progressed to the final
after netting the only goal of the tie in the last seconds.
A tight game with few genuine scoring opportunities for either side looked set
for extra time until goalkeeper Nathan Harker blocked a shot from Luiz
Palmares - but couldn't prevent Oleg Reabciuk sweeping in the rebound at the
Leazes End to set
up a final against Arsenal for the visitors.
That was tough luck on the hosts, who produced their best display for some
time and made up in commitment what they lacked in composure and
Following a cagey opening half hour, Porto twice looked like making the
breakthrough: Harker quickly off his line to block Santiago Vera's effort
before the same player missed his kick when played in by Madi Queta.
United should have gone in ahead at the break, when Dan Ward miscued in front
of goal after good work from Callum Roberts, but that was an all-too rare
venture into the Porto box for the black and whites.
Porto custodian Diogo Costa palmed away a dangerous 66th minute corner from
Dan Barlaser, while at the other end a stranded Harker was relieved as Queta's
effort from distance went just wide seconds later.
The introduction of Mo Sangare from the bench saw United threaten more, but
sole striker Luke Charman laboured all night for little reward and among with
a number of his colleagues was exhausted by the end.
The manner of the goal was disappointing, but Porto looked the better prepared
for extra time and would surely have settled matters before the shootout.
All the brave effort by United couldn't disguise that they lack individual
talent and offensively have very limited options. Their passing and control
was better tonight than of late, but still mostly uninspired.
Having exited the Premier League Cup last week and sitting in a lowly league
position, Newcastle's final opportunity of silverware is now the
Northumberland Senior Cup against Morpeth Town.
However the Northern League side will pose a genuine threat, despite a backlog
of league and cup fixtures that is starting to become