Four Injuries Cloud Newcastle Win Over Wellington Phoenix
Siem De Jong was passed fit to play despite having sat out training, meaning Newcastle faced Wellington Phoenix with only one change from the team that started against Sydney FC, Mehdi Abeid replacing Rolando Aarons.
With West Ham putting in another terrible performance and losing 3-1 to Sydney FC in the earlier match, it meant whoever emerged as victors would be the nominal winners of this four team tournament.
Alan Pardew had opted for a 3-5-2 formation but while it helped United going forward with Haidara pushed up as a wing-back, defensively it led to players at times looking at each other as to who to pick up when Phoenix were attacking.
The hosts looked a far more difficult proposition than Sydney FC proved, but despite a procession of corners for Newcastle, they struggled to threaten the goal from the set-plays.
The decision to play Siem De Jong proved to be a potential error on Alan Pardew’s part, the Dutch midfielder limping off on 33 minutes after the player made clear he had to come off.
The breakthrough eventually came on 41 minutes when the previously impressive Moss in the Phoenix goal, came off his line to meet a cross but was left in no man’s land as he got nowhere near Gouffran who did well to beat defenders and head into an empty net.
The Newcastle manager had asked beforehand for players to watch their challenges after a couple of West Ham players were victims of over the top tackles from Wellington players, yet it was an innocuous looking challenge on Mehdi Abeid which left him needing lengthy treatment and then failing to appear for the second half.
While Rob Elliot’s kicking was abysmal, he made two great saves when one on one with Phoenix players early in the second half.
As substitutions affected the flow of the game it became a more stop-start match, though it kept a decent level of entertainment and the competitive factor.
More bad news for Pardew when Fabricio Coloccini was forced off and didn’t look happy as he left the pitch, the fact Haris Vuckjic replaced him with no defenders left on the bench, summed up this was no planned substitution.
The official crowd was announced as 30,968, though that included a number who’d left after the West Ham match.
The final blow then came when on 85 minutes Rolando Aarons very slowly made his way off the pitch in some pain, with only goalkeepers Alnwick and Woodman left on the bench, United were forced to see out the remaining minutes with ten men.
A win for United, and a successful tour in terms of results, but the Newcastle manager will be left reeling if injuries to the likes of Coloccini and De Jong prove long lasting.
Yoan Gouffran was named man of the match to add to his winning goal.
So happy!!! Thank you to my team mates pic.twitter.com/vwKA04udg5
— yoan gouffran (@YGouffran) July 26, 2014
Final Score: Newcastle United 1 Wellington Phoenix 0
Newcastle United: Elliot, Taylor, Mapou (Satka 63), Coloccini (Vuckic 77), Gouffran (Campbell 84), Anita, Colback, Abeid (Aarons 46), Haidara (Dummett 75), De Jong (Perez 33), Riviere (Armstrong 63)
Unused Subs: Alnwick, Woodman
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