Date: Tuesday 22nd July 2014, 7.30pm.
Live on BT Sport
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium,
Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand.
Conditions: chilly: 8 degrees
Admission: $25 and upwards (£13)
4 - 0
Sydney goalkeeper Ivan Necevski made an absolute hash of a clearance on the edge
of his area. Emmanuel Riviere played the loose ball into the path of Siem
De Jong and he registered his second pre-season goal, finding the back of
the empty net from 18 yards. 1-0
A spell of Newcastle pressure ended up
with Yoan Gouffran laying the ball across the six yard box from the right hand
side of the box for Emmanuel Riviere to force home. 2-0
That Riviere touch
speculative left footed effort from distance by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa took a
hefty deflection off the Sydney captain Saša Ognenovski and whizzed beyond
Half time: Magpies
3 Sydney 0
Substitute Adam Campbell's first
contribution was to play in Adam Armstrong, who sold his covering
defender a dummy before beating Necevski at his near post. Two local lads
combining for the goal was possibly the most fitting tribute of all in this
Full time: Magpies 4
"None of us would be sitting here without the fans.
"Owners and managers come and go, as do players, but the fans are
always there, and these two guys in particular, to go to the lengths that
they did to get out here, has brought home just how important supporters are
"Sometimes when you lose lives in that manner, it puts into context
what we do. This season we want to give their families something to remember
them by, by having a successful season.
"A lot is made of the rivalry between the two cities, and of course
that is there but I would like to thank all the Sunderland fans who have
paid tribute and helped raise a staggering amount already.
"I am very proud of Sunderland Football Club for the way they have
conducted themselves and I want to thank them.
"It's important we represent ourselves in the right manner, especially
after losing John and Liam - our supporters who were travelling out here.
"We have to conduct ourselves well on and off the pitch and get some
strong results. That is what they would have wanted and that is what we
want, so in memory of those guys in particular, we want this to be a
"We have to honour these guys in the right manner because it does mean
a lot to us. Their tragic loss has hurt the group. On Tuesday, I will be playing a very strong side. That is only right
and fair in light of what's happened."
Alan Pardew - post-match:
"It was a good night for us, really good, and it was great to play in a
roofed stadium in front of a really good crowd. The scoreline might have
flattered us slightly but we took most of our chances and it was a fairly
satisfying performance so soon after arriving in New Zealand.
"We lacked offensive options last season, particularly in the second
half, but we improved that tonight and I thought that was encouraging. We
started with a very strong side, particularly in memory of Liam and John,
which I thought was only right.
was important to pay our respects as Liam and John were not just ordinary
fans, they were a little bit special in their support. They were coming all
the way to New Zealand to watch us and we had to make sure that their memory
was in this stadium.
"It was nice to see all the new boys contribute in a really positive
way, it is obvious we’ve more offensive options now with the arrival of
Siem (De Jong), (Emmanuel) Riviere and Ayoze (Perez).
All three were terrific and Jack’s (Colback) energy in midfield was
great, that really got us playing on the front foot.
"It was a good night on the pitch and we can be proud of how we
conducted ourselves off it too."
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold:
"It was a great work out for us.
"To come up against a Premier League
team who are just three weeks away from the start of their season and we are
still 12 weeks away meant tonight was always going to be tough, and it was
mainly our mistakes that gifted them the goals.
"There were a lot of positives that we
took out of the game. I’d prefer to play teams of this quality at this stage
of the season who will punish us and our mistakes. Playing against lesser
opposition can often camouflage your mistakes but against a Premier League side
of the calibre of Newcastle we didn’t get away with it and we’ll learn from
have got a lot better but there is a long way still to go. I'm asking the senior
players to lead by example and they mostly did, while some of the younger
players also enhanced their reputations against quality opposition. We got into
some good areas but our final ball wasn't great."
Emmanuel Riviere made his debut for United, wearing number 29. The
previous owner of that shirt, Haris Vuckic, appeared clad in the number 23 shirt
now vacated by Shola Ameobi.
Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):
Holiday: Cabella, Janmaat, Krul, Sissoko, Tiote
Fitness: Cisse, Good, Mbabu, Santon
Not selected: Kemen
Not considered: Ben Arfa, Gutierrez,
Played for U21s: Ferguson
Unused sub: Woodman
NUFC in New Zealand - previous visit:
25.05.1985 won 3-2 McDonald 2, Reilly (4,400 in Auckland)
22.05.1985 won 4-0 Reilly 2, Beardsley, Gascoigne (6,500 in Napier)
19.05.1985 drew 2-2 Beardsley 2 (4,000 in Wellington)
18.05.1985 won 2-1 Anderson, McDonald (5,000 in Christchurch)
(All games were against the New Zealand national team aka the All Whites)
Prompted by an email from Wallsend-born NUFC.com reader Michael Golding (exiled
in Australia), we perused our old school atlas and like him, conclude that this
is the most Southerly venue that Newcastle have ever played at - until
the pre-season tour of the Falkland Islands anyway....
A week after kicking off their
pre-season programme with a 1-2 defeat at Oldham, United travelled over 11,000
miles to face Australian A League side
opposition on the South Island of New Zealand.
Our correspondent takes up the story:
News of the MH17 tragedy brought a new dimension to this eagerly-awaited game,
which became even more of a pilgrimage for the many Toon fans in this
part of the world. The Newcastle party gauged the mood well and were extremely approachable and very visible throughout
The extraordinary efforts of NZ Mag Kane Wintersgill drew manys to the Terrace bar,
where matchday experiences of yesteryear were recounted by fans who hadn't seen
the lads in the flesh for many years. For the debutants meanwhile, excitement
levels climbed as the beers were poured.
The Toon on the terrace, in the Terrace
Club shirts of many vintages and colours were on show, to the extent that when Bobby
Moncur and the club entourage showed at the pub in the afternoon of the
game, it was obvious who the club people were simply by looking at their attire
- no blue stars or Greenalls logos on their tracksuits....
Assembling an hour before kick off for the walk - not
quite of Bruges proportions - to the stadium, the lads were by now in full
voice, with lumps in throats and tears in eyes.
Arriving at the stadium, everyone was funnelled into the Speights
stand, and into the bright lights of what is a massive and magnificent indoor
structure. The laying of the wreaths at Liam and John's seats was a
heart-warming gesture, and they were surrounded by their fellow fans for the
duration of the game as if they were there - it was clear that Colo was moved by
Just prior to kick off there was a commotion in the West Stand (aka The Zoo) where hundreds of local students had gathered with
painted faces and mocked-up Newcastle gear.
They then started to pipe up with some songs clearly not from
the Geordie songbook, much to the hilarity of the Toon section in the adjacent
stand. To be fair though, it did give the atmosphere something extra, akin to a home
following as there was barely a soul from Sydney at the game.
The game started at a pedestrian pace as Sydney started to spray the ball around
and Newcastle sussed out their opponents, but it all changed very quickly when
the goalkeeper Necevski served up a howler. Fluffing a simple kick straight to
Riviere, the new boy passed up the opportunity to turn
and shoot to tee up De Jong for the simplest of goals to set the fans on
Memories of QPR away in 1994 came flooding back as a good rendition of 'Dodgy
Keeper' was belted out and a second goal soon followed when Riviere marked his
debut with a close range strike. That came shortly before a pre-arranged minute's applause from the Newcastle
in the stadium, acknowledging 28 year-old Liam Sweeney on 28 minutes.
By now Newcastle were in total control and Yanga Mbiwa's deflected third
emphasised what was becoming a one-sided affair - men against boys you could
say, with only Ibini and Carle showing anything for the Australians.
What was encouraging was the emphasis on wide play, to the fore in the pre-game
Dunedin training sessions and youngster Rolando Aarons popping up on both wings
to good effect. The extra edge of the classy Colback and the even
classier De Jong also gave Newcastle frequent opportunities.
The second half was not as punctuated as some games by the substitutions, every
Toon sub being greeted with a massive roar, none bigger than the one afforded to
Steven Taylor, while Rob Elliot was cheered on by the Toon Army despite having
very little to do.
A second minute of applause was then observed in memory of 63 year-old John
Alder on 63 minutes - just about the time United goalkeeper Rob Elliot was called into action for
the first time to palm away a bouncing effort from 18 yards by former Fulham
reserve striker Corey Gameiro.
A well worked fourth goal by the lively Armstrong capped
off a fine night's entertainment. Seeing Ayoze Perez jink down
the line, the long legs of Sammy Ameobi cause chaos and Haris Vuckic look composed,
caused much optimism and even some giddy chants of "We're gonna win the
league." If that was the A League, then we may be in with a shout...
Aside from the "Willie McFaul's Black and White Army" chant that came up, this
was surely one of the most ridiculous of the night, but all received in
Rumours of the players and staff heading out on the town afterwards prompted
another big turnout at the Terrace bar after the game, but alas it was not to be.
Regardless of that though, this was potentially one of the best away days for
many fans present - some positive PR coming from club representatives joining
the fan gathering pre-game and the players happily shaking hands and posing for
photos at the team hotel.
Those fans seeing their first Newcastle game and having their first matchday
experience will definitely be back for more, and if this was simply a PR
exercise, coming to Dunedin was a great idea. Roll on Saturday, when we get to
do it all again in Wellington.
our Aussie correspondent Paris Pete
Bob Moncur and Pete Smith
RIP John and Liam - never forgotten