After Steven Taylor gave Newcastle the lead after 25 minutes and Olympiakos went down to 10 men, when Modesto got a second yellow card after 74 minutes, we expected Newcastle would be able to get the 1-0 win – but it wasn’t to be.
Olympiacos brought on one or two decent players after Modesto was sent off, and they were the better side in the last 15 minutes, even though they had only 10 men, and they managed to equalize in the 81st minute, and the game ended 1-1, and by agreement before the tournament – it went to five straight penalties to each side.
Of all people Papiss Cisse blazed the first penalty a full foot over the bar, but then Vuckic, Amalfitano, Perch and Abeid all scored easily with their penalties, and with the last and 10th penalty, after Olympiacos had scored from their previous four, the Greek Champions had a chance to win it.
But would you believe it, Tim Krul saved it low to his left, and so the game ended the same way as the Braga vs Olympiacos game last night ended – as a draw – 1-1 after 90 minutes and 4-4 on penalties.
It was a decent performance from Newcastle, but not as good as against Fenerbehce, but it was mostly a second Newcastle eleven tonight.
Newcastle had been fairly solid for the first 75 minutes, but then the lads started to give the ball away, after Olympiacos had gone down to 10 men.
It was Steven Taylor who put Newcastle ahead after 25 minutes, following a left wing corner and some excellent work by Dan Gosling on the right wing, as he whizzed past his man, and crossed, and after only a partial clearance, Steven hit the ball home.
Newcastle seemed to be able to hold the Olympiakos side, and Newcatsel probably shaded the first half, but Olympiacos raised the tempo in the second half.
When the Greek side went down to 10 men after 74 minutes, it seemed that it would be a Newcastle win.
But then Newcastle went off the boil and gave the ball away far too much with Sammy Ameobi, who had come on after 72 minutes for Obertan, being one of the major culprits.
Olympiakos somehow had more possession in those final 15 minutes than Newcastle, and they even deserved to equalize, when they caught Newcastle short at the back when Abdoun moved quickly down the left and pulled the ball back for Mitroglou to hit the ball home form 12 yards out.
Even then Papiss Cisse almost won it on 82 minutes, with an excellent header that was well saved by former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll, and then Cisse hit the bar with his follow-up shot.
But it wasn’t to be, and then we have Tim Krul to thank for not losing the game 5-4 on penalties.
The man who took the eye for Newcastle was `18 year-old Gael Bigirimana, who played the whole game in central defensive, and looked very comfortable, and for us he was Newcastle’s best player tonight.
And when Paul Dummett came on at the start of the second half for Steven Taylor, the youngster did well, and will be happy with his solid display.
Dan Gosling had again looked good before he had to go off after 35 minutes and was replaced by Mehdi Avbeid, aftre he picke dup a knock to his hip, and it seemed a precautionary move.
Both Davide Santon and Haris Vuckic need to do more in these games.
Steven Taylor was solid enough at the back most of the first half, although he looked a little rusty at times, which was to be expected, but he came through the 45 minutes unscathed – and that was good – oh and he scored a goal of course.
We suppose it was only a friendly, but for the second game running, Newcastle failed to win the game, when they really should have wrapped it up.
Oh well – we’ll have to smash FC Braga tomorrow night.
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul; James Perch, Steven Taylor (Paul Dummett 46), Mike Williamson, Davide Santon; Gabriel Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 72), , Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling (Mehdi Abeid 36), Romain Amalfitano; Haris Vuckic; Shola Ameobi (c) (Papiss Cisse 72)
Subs not used: Steve Harper, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson, James Tavernier, Ryan Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez, Cheick Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux
Olympiacos (4-4-1-1): Roy Carroll; Tasos Papazoglou, Fejsa, Djebbour Rafik, Giannis Fetzatzidis, Siovas Dimitris, Dielna Claude, Vlahodimos, Marinaldo da Silva, Diogo Luis Santo, Torosidis Vasileios (c)
Substitutes: Balazs Attila Megyeri, Maniatis, Francois Modesto, Marko Pantelic, Kostas Mitroglou, Jose Holebas, Andreas Tatos, Manolas Konstantinos, Likoeannis Ch, Karagounis Vasileios, Giannis Potouridis, Djamel Abdoun
Referee: Joao Ferreira