This game was over after 26 minutes tonight, when Newcastle were 3-0 down, after falling behind 2-0 in the first nine minutes of the game, when some slack Newcastle defending led to two goals from 20 year-old Egyptian striker Ahmed Hassan.
The Newcastle team before tonight’s game – with Cabaye captaining the side
Newcastle kicked off with a decent starting eleven, but it seemed the defense was asleep for the first 10 minutes of the game as Newcastle conceded two poor goals, and both goals were scored by 20 year-old Egypt U23 International Hassan.
After 6 minutes Rio Ave went ahead after Del Valle sent in a cross from the right which was put beyond the reach of young Jak Alnwick by 6’3″ striker Hassan.
And then Hassan scored his second a short three minutes later, as he was just given too much time and space when he got inside the box, and there was some rather slack marking from the Newcastle defense.
Newcastle tried to come back from this disastrous start and Yoan Gouffran headed the ball wide, as Rio Ave were passing the ball around well and keeping possession well, and Newcastle were chasing shadows – or so it seemed.
And would you believe it but Rio Ave got their third goal after 26 minutes and Del Valle advanced down the left, as Steven Taylor challenged him, but Del Valle was allowed to cross the ball, and Newcastle again failed to clear the danger and Braga hit the ball in from just nine yards out and Newcastle were getting hammered 3-0.
Captain for the day Yohan Cabaye did try to rally the side and the French International had a couple of decent shots that were off target, and then just before half time Yohan hit the post with a great effort, but apart from that Newcastle were very little threat to the well-drilled Portuguese side.
At half time Newcastle were 3-0 down and had been second best, and it had been a poor performance from the Magpies.
In the second half Alan Pardew made five changes and introduced Elliot in goal and Sammy Ameobi, Cheick Tiote, Gabby Obertan and Moussa Sissoko.
Gouffran and Obertan had decent shots as newcastle upped their tempo at the start of the second half, and Newcastle were not starting to press and Shola Ameobi was then brought on for Yoan Gouffran.
And after some good pressure from Newcastle, the Magpies got a good goal, and it was Shola Ameobi who converted well after 76 minutes, from a good cross from winger Gabby Obertan.
Mike Williamson then gave away a penalty late in the game, although the infraction seemed to have taken place outside the penalty box, but Rob Elliot made an excellent save from Lima to keep the score down.
And that was it, as the final whistle was blown, and our first defeat of the pre-season, and a rather disappointing display from Newcastle, especially in those first 26 minutes, but an improved performance in the second half at least reduced the deficit.
Alan Pardew cannot have been happy with the defensive display by Newcastle in the first half, and it’s an area Newcastle must improve on, after leaking 68 goals in the league last season, the worst goals against record ever by the Magpies in the Premier League.
It seems the sooner Coloccini is fit and ready to play the better, but Newcastle rely far too much on the Argentine in defense, and we missed him big time earlier this year, when he did his back in against Southampton.
But we have to remember it’s only one game – and we shouldn’t over-react – and the lads will have to learn from those mistakes in that first half.
We now play Pacos de Ferreira at the Estadio da Capital do Movel on Tuesday night, with an 8:00 pm kickoff, and we will probably see Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini in the starting line-up.
Rio Ave: Ederson, Tarantini, Hassan, Diego, Braga, Vilas Boas, Dias, Marcelo, Lionn, Del Valle, Wakaso.
Newcastle United: Alnwick (Elliot, 46); Santon (Williamson, 70), S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett; Cabaye (Tiote, 46), Anita (Campbell, 76); Marveaux (Obertan, 46), Vuckic (Sissoko, 46), Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi, 46); Gouffran (Shola Ameobi, 62).
Goals: Hassan 4, 9 Braga 26, Shola Ameobi 76
Bookings: Vilas Boas 43
Referee: Pedro Campos
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