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Season 2015-16
Sacramento Republic (a) Friendly

In association 


Saturday 18th July 2015, 8.00pm.

 Bonney Field, Sacramento, California, USA

Conditions: Sweltering but tolerable by kick-off, when it was around 28 degrees.

Admission: $27 and upwards

Programme: None produced although an online edition was available to download

Republic issued a 
free 24 page 
online only 

Sacramento Republic

Newcastle United

0 - 1




Half time: Republic 0 Magpies 0

48 mins James Kiffe inadvertently met a low sweeping left wing cross from Massadio Haidara and bulleted a short from close range past his own helpless goalkeeper Patrick McLain 1-0

Full time: Republic 0 Magpies 1

We Said

Steve McClaren commented:

"It’s a pre-season friendly. There was no malice in the challenge (from Massadio Haidara), he wasn’t looking at the man he was looking at the ball.

"It looked bad because he clashed with the opponent. It was a rash challenge and a rash red card. It was disappointing but it made our boys work harder in the last 20 minutes.

"I thought Sacramento were very good. We watched the game against sunderland and thought: ‘This won’t be an easy game’.

"They had good ability, they played good football and the coach has done a great job to play how they do.

"We had difficulties in the first half. We were too deep and had no tempo. We were decent on the ball in the second half and pressed a little better and got the goal.

"We had ten men after an unbelievable decision. But we kept the ball well."

On transfers:

“We are very close to something. There is a lot of speculation and pre-empting of decisions, but certainly from the feedback back home they are working very hard to bring one or two players back in.

“We have what we have, it’s a good squad. We now go to Portland and it will be a totally different game. I am so pleased with the games we have had so far in terms of how they boys have worked.

“They are getting minutes in and working hard - their attitude is very good.”

Debutant Georginio Wijnaldum added:

"It feels good to wear the shirt. I waited a few days for my first game but it felt really good. I came on when we were 1-0 up but we had got the red card just before, so I knew the final part of the game was going to be tough. 

"It was a good result. In the first half it was difficult because they had a man free in midfield between the lines. But we played well in the second half and then when the red card came we stayed compact and saw the game out well.'

"The performances matter and normally with good performances come good results. We have to learn from every game at this stage of the season though, whatever the result.

"At the national team, when you are new you must stand up and speak for a minute, but I have never had to sing before (for his NUFC squad initiation). I chose 'Who the Cap Fit' by Bob Marley, but it was not good! I didn't get to finish it because everyone threw their napkins at me and booed. Singing is definitely not my talent!"

They Said

Ex- Torquay United, Bristol Rovers, Luton Town and Cheltenham Town boss Paul Buckle said:

"I think our levels were higher tonight then they were against sunderland. We come up against a very, very good team, a team that played the game the right way. It was a proper Premiership performance from them, but we still caused them a lot of problems.

“We looked dangerous tonight - we deserved a goal for our troubles.”

On Kiffe's OG:

"He was in the right place. It’s not easy when the ball is on the opposite side for the fullback."


Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

Rolando Aarons 45+18+21=84
Mehdi Abeid 0+0+0=0
Vurnon Anita 45+90+90=225
Adam Armstrong 45+18+0=63
Gael Bigirimana 45+18+0=63
Remy Cabella 0+0+0=0
Papiss Cisse 45+72+69=186
Jack Colback 45+90+90=225
Fabricio Coloccini 0+0+0=0
Karl Darlow 45+45+0=90
Siem De Jong 45+72+69=186
Paul Dummett 0+0+0=0
Rob Elliot 0+0+0=0
Shane Ferguson 45+18+0=63
Curtis Good 45+0+0=45
Yoan Gouffran 45+72+0=117
Massadio Haidara 45+72+65=182
Daryl Janmaat 45+72+90=207
Tim Krul 0+45+45=90
Jamaal Lascelles 45+90+45=180
Sylvain Marveaux 0+0+0=0
Gabriel Obertan 45+18+69=132
Ayoze Perez 45+18+21=84
Emmanuel Riviere 45+0+0=45
Lubo Satka 45+0+0=45
Moussa Sissoko 45+72+90=207
Steven Taylor 0+0+45=45
Cheick Tiote 45+0+0=45
Haris Vuckic 0+0+0=0
Georginio Wijnaldum 0+0+21=21
Mike Williamson 45+90+90=225
Freddie Woodman 45+0+45=90

There was a club debut for £14.5m midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (pictured below)

Massadio Haidara's dismissal was the first by a Newcastle player in a non-competitive game since Fabricio Coloccini saw red against Portuguese side Pacos De Ferreira back in July 2013.




Newcastle completed their second single goal success in three pre-season games as they overcame lower league opposition in California on Saturday night - but aside from the scoreline, there was little to give cause for optimism to those present or watching online in England from the 4am kickoff. 

An own goal shortly after the interval ultimately won it for United, but Sacramento kept on looking for a breakthrough right until the final seconds and forced a series of saves from Tim Krul and his second half replacement, Freddie Woodman.

Wearing their black and white home kit for the first time this season, the Magpies were reduced to ten men for the final 26 minutes of the game when Massadio Haidara received a straight red for a reckless - but apparently accidental - lunge on Danny Barrera.

That rather undermined the first sighting of Georginio Wijnaldum from the bench soon after (wearing 5 pending a reshuffle of squad numbers), while there was a playing comeback for Steven Taylor after a six month absence since he limped off against Burnley on the first day of 2015.

Much of United's attacking moves during the first half came courtesy of Gabriel Obertan down the left wing and his ninth minute centre created the first decent chance - only for Moussa Sissoko to blaze his shot wildly over the bar.

Daryl Janmaat did rather better shortly after, seeing his goalbound effort blocked in the area and further panic just before the half hour ended when a home defender made a timely clearance after the goalkeeper was caught out.

With little evident from either Siem De Jong or Papiss Cisse though, United's supposedly solid midfield duo of Jack Colback and Vurnon Anita were similarly lax and Sacramento duly took their chance to move upfield as the game unfolded.

Krul made three notable stops in a ten minute period before half time, tipping away free kicks from Rodrigo Lopez and Max Alvarez and blocking another shot.

What proved to be the winner arrived early in the second half during United's best spell of the game. Haidara's first attempt at a sweeping left wing centre was just too strong for Cisse, but when he repeated that soon later, James Kiffe smacked it first time past his own' keeper.

Sacramento thought they'd equalised just three minutes later, but as Woodman spilled a shot from close range, David Estrada and a colleague were in offside positions as they followed up..

And United's teenage custodian made further blocks to keep out accurate long range shots, something United singularly failed to manage with his opposite number.

Had Haidara not seen red for leading with a high foot and catching an opponent on the body, then the arrival of Rolando Aarons could well have added a veneer of respectability to the full time score.

As it was though, he was left to patrol the whole of the left back and use his pace break up Republic attacks, rather than prompting forward forays - although one jink into the area on 80 minutes was a reminder of his talent and well received by the travelling Toon support.

But when the biggest cheer of the night from a pumped up away contingent is for Ayoze Perez nutmegging an opponent, it's clear that there's a long way still to go in the three weeks until hostilities recommence. 

Sadly though, this stale display was poorer than the one in Milwaukee, something that cannot totally be blamed on playing with a man short. Even allowing for the heat, we scratched about to no good purpose and looked to have little clue about how we were going to score.  

Going down to ten men meant that our task of hanging on for the win rather than trying to add to the score was more cut and dried, and duly achieved, given that taking the initiative isn't yet on our agenda. 

As Steve McClaren attempts to impose his own ideas and tactics on the squad, these games are a good exercise for him in discovering what thousands of Newcastle fans are only too aware of - that he inherited an uninspiring collection of ordinary players lacking any spark.


Page last updated 20 June, 2016