Newcastle 0 Fenerbahce 0
76 mins Newly-arrived substitute Mehdi
Abeid showed neat control and a cool finish in the box after being played
in by Sammy Ameobi and slotted the ball past Gunok. The pair then unveiled a
slightly curious goal celebration 1-0.
90 mins Fenerbahce
belatedly levelled when Cristian Baroni hit a low
effort from the edge of the box that seemed to beat Elliot all too easily
(shades of a goal he conceded at Forest in the League Cup last season) and
referee Paul Petho blew the full-time whistle shortly after the restart. 1-1.
Newcastle 1 Fenerbahce
Alan Pardew said:
"It was a game we should have won - thereís no doubt about that. It
shows at this level that you canít switch off. They are a Champions League
team and thatís what we did, switched off.
"We thought we were cruising and should have scored a second goal, but it
didnít come. You need to see the game out with tenacity - we didnít and
they scored and it showed what itís like.
"This could be a valuable lesson for us."
The goalscorer added:
"We were a little bit angry that Fenerbahce scored in the last minute,
but we did well - we have to concentrate until the last minute.
"For me, Iím really happy to
score, Sammy gave me the ball in the box and I turned and shot. It was a
good goal. Iím really happy and pleased to score for Newcastle. I hope to
do the same in the next game.
"I like this position and I like to
go forward. Thatís what like doing. I did well and I hope to do well again
and again every week. I hope to do better in the next game. I have to try to
work hard every day to be better.Ē
Coach Aykut Kocaman said:
"Newcastle seemed to be the more active team in the first 10 minutes,
but we managed to control and dominate the game after that. I think a 1-1-draw
is a fair result, considering both sides were equally effective at certain times
throughout the game. I'm very glad that both teams played as if it was a
competitive league time.
"Now we have two more preseason friendlies scheduled and our aim is to be
competely ready for the upcoming match against Vaslui in the third qualifying
game of the UEFA Champions League."
was a rare excursion to Austria for Newcastle, who had previously played there in May
1906 and May 1929.
Club sides from Vienna visited SJP meanwhile in
both 1954 and 1959.
United became the second
Premier League side to have played at the Sonnenseestadion, some three
years after the venue opened its doors.
Arsenal beat a Burgenland Select XI 10-2 here as part of their
pre-season schedule back in 2008.
Game three of United's European tour saw them travel to Austria to face Turkish
opposition in a game that at various times was alleged to be staged in Germany,
the Austrian capital Vienna and latterly the Hungarian town of Sopron - just
over the border from the eventual venue in Ritzing.
Our opening pre-season game in East Germany wasn't too different to visiting the
likes of Carlisle, while decamping to Bavaria to face French opposition was
slightly odd but not too far off the norm.
However the meeting of the Premier League's fifth-placed side and the Super Lig
runners-up in a rural Austrian village proved to be a truly bizarre footnote in
Quite why this sleepy settlement of less than
1,000 folks is home to a plush football stadium and state of the art sports
complex is unclear, but for one day exiled Turks turned the area around the Sonnenseestadion
into a mini-Istanbul - complete with the inevitable kebab stalls outside.
Previous behavioural issues with Turkish fans had caused
the German footballing authorities to ban pre-season games
involving their club sides - which was partly responsible for the wild goose
chase that then ensued as to where this game would be staged (or even if it
would be played at all).
Keen to increase their standing as a venue for pre-season training camps - with
a claimed 15 teams from all over Europe in the country during this month - the
regional government and Austrian FA allowed Fenerbahce to stage this and three
other games in various venues.
However a larger police presence than usual for a game of this nature was
drafted in, as well as extra stewarding. The atmosphere was never anything other than
positive though, with bars round the stadium open all match and both sets of
supporters able to mingle freely.
Heavy rainfall in the Burgenland area of Eastern Austria
looked at one stage more likely to pose a threat to this game going ahead than
some over-excited Turks. Concerns were raised over the condition of the grass pitch at
the stadium following United's arrival and groundstaff worked on clearing excess
water and opening up additional drainage before the players began their
Given the number of Fenerbahce fans who had made the journey from Vienna and
beyond though, a postponement never looked likely and with TV cameras set up to
provide live coverage, switching the game to the full-size plastic pitch next
door was never on the cards.
Thankfully the rain eased
sufficiently before kick-off to allow the game to go ahead, once some remedial
work to help sodden patches drain had been carried out - and the groundsman
re-marked the pitch lines just before kickoff.
United calmed the boisterous boys from the Bosphorus with an impressive
second half display that culminated in a first senior strike from Mehdi Abeid -
only to then fail in scoring a second that their domination had warranted, and
then concede a needless late leveller.
Non-combatants tonight were James Perch, Tim Krul and Steven Taylor, while Alan
Pardew was forced into one late change when Romain Amalfitano was injured in the
warm-up and Sylvain Marveaux deputised. That was one of eight changes from the
previous starting XI, with Rob Elliot reurning and Fabricio Coloccini making a first
appearance of pre-season alongside James Tavernier.
In a first half of few chances, Haris Vuckic - whose parents were supporting
him from the away section - had a clear opportunity on 26 minutes but opted to
move the ball on taking a poor backpass from Miroslav Stoch rather than taking
advantage by shooting on goal.
And the Slovenian should have done even better when put through on the left side of the box but
his low effort lacked power and was saved.
Cheick Tiote then put in a fine cross for Dan Gosling on 40 minutes,
but the midfielder's header just looped over the angle of post and crossbar.
At the other end, Elliot was untroubled by some long-distance punts, new boy Dirk Kuyt
anonymous in a deep
lying role and ex-United transfer target Moussa Sow unimpressive. Stoch
did go close with a curling drive a minute after the break while veteran
midfielder Alex shot narrowly wide after cutting in from the right soon after,
but a breakthrough by either side didn't look particularly likely.
Half-time substitute Sammy Ameobi - on for Vuckic - combined well with Demba Ba
on 55 minutes, but the latter's shot was blocked and the ball cleared.
Ryan Taylor then almost opened the scoring just before the hour with a free-kick
given after Sammy Ameobi's nimble footwork drew a foul - Taylor's 25 yard shot
grazing an upright with Mert Gunok happy to watch it go wide.
Rather than lose impetus by making a raft of changes though, Newcastle's substitutions
helped them to build up some attacking momentum, with Papiss Cisse looking
particularly lively on his first appearance in pre-season. Removing Gabriel Obertan from the
equation also didn't do any harm.
Marking a year on Tyneside, Mehdi
Abeid then looked to have won the game for United and having seized the
initiative United twice went close to adding a second in quick succession, Sammy
Ameobi seeing his low drive
(from a similar area to that which saw him score at Scunthorpe) saved and then
elder brother Shola volleying an effort into the ground
that bounced over the crossbar.
Cisse tried a
typically spectacular effort in the 83rd minute but his long-range curling
effort was tipped over. With a second friendly success in as many games looming though,
Fener rather annoyingly equalised in what proved to be the final attack of the
match - but that didn't really detract from the enjoyment of the occasion and
satisfaction of defying the odds to get there.