Newcastle United ended their New Zealand tour in front of over 30,000 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington tonight, with a good 1-0 win against a good-looking Wellington Phoenix side.
Yoan Gouffran – after scoring the winner after 41 minutes
But this was a more difficult game than the 4-0 win against Sydney FC on Tuesday night, and the Phoenix had already beaten West Ham 2-1 on Tuesday night.
It was another entertaining game for the fans, and both sides had chances that they missed, and in the first half Wellington attacked Newcastle from the side and looked a good side.
Newcastle again paid tribute to John Alder and Liam Sweeney – with the players wearing T-shirts in memory of the two supporters who were killed last week when a Malaysian plane was shot down over Ukraine by rebels.
Both sides attacked each other from the start, and after 27 minutes Wellington’s Jeremy Brockie hit the woodwork with a header, but he was ruled offside.
The breakthrough came for Newcastle just before half time on 41 minutes, when the in-form Jack Colback sent the ball over to the back post and Yoan Gouffran’s looping header beat Phoenix goalkeeper Moss.
And Colback had a chance just before the break to score his first goal in Newcastle colors, after Perez had set him up, but Jack’s shot was blocked by Phoenix defender Andrew Durante.
In the second half it again was an attacking game from both sides, and Phoenix had a number of decent chances to equalise, but found Newcastle’s Irish International goalkeeper Rob Elliott again looking very good in goal.
Rob made two excellent save sin the second half, the first after 56 minute when he pushed the ball around the post, and then 7 minutes later he made a terrific save from the same player – Brockie.
And then substitute Perez, who had been brought on as a sub in a precautionary move to replace Siem de Jong after 33 minutes, had a very good chance to put the Magpies 2-0 up, but the Spaniard blasted the ball over the bar, when he should have done better.
The Newcastle supporters again remembered Newcastle fans Liam Sweeney and John Alder in the 29th and 64th minutes and broke into applause in tribute to our two fallen brothers.
Both teams made substitutions in the second half which affected the game but the Magpies held out for a good 1-0 win and another clean sheet.
Alan Pardew will take a lot of positives out of this match, with Yoan Gouffran looking the best player on the field and named Man of the March, and some of our youngsters – Lubo Satka, Roland Aasrons and Adam Armstrong – all looking good in the second half.
Newcastle will now make the long trek home, and will take on Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough next Wednesday night as the next game in the pre-season friendlies, before playing in Germany the following weekend.
Wellington Phoenix (4-3-3): Glen Moss; Manny Muscat (Josh Brindell-South 86), Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante (c), Thomas Doyle; Tyler Boyd (Jason Hicks 72), Albert Riera, Alex Gorrin (Michael Boxall 76); Louis Fenton (Matthew Ridenton 62), Jeremy Brockie (Alex Rufer 84), Nathan Burns (Kenny Cunningham 72)
Subs not used: Lewis Italiano, Roy Krishna, Andrew Blake
Newcastle (3-5-2): Rob Elliot; Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c) (Haris Vuckic 78), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Lubo Satka 65); Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran (Adam Campbell 85), Mehdi Abeid (Rolando Aarons 46), Jack Colback, Massadio Haidara (Paul Dummett 76); Siem de Jong (Ayoze Perez 33), Emmanuel Riviere (Adam Armstrong 65)
Subs not used: Jak Alnwick, Freddie Woodman
Referee: Matthew Conger
Bookings: Wellington – none; Newcastle – Yanga-Mbiwa (50)
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