In their final and third game of the American tour, Newcastle have gone down 4-3 against Portland Timbers second eleven at Providence Park tonight, after going ahead after only six minutes of the game through new signing Georginio Wijnaldum, who converted a Rolando Aarons’ cross.
But then the home side scored four goals unanswered to make it 4-1 after 70 minutes until Newcastle awoke from their slumbers, with Rolando Aarons scoring a fantastic goal with just 15 minutes to go, and then the winger scored again within a minute, but Newcastle couldn’t get that fourth goal to prevent our second defeat on the US tour.
So it was two goals and one assist from the in-form 19 year-old Aarons who is shining in pre-season, much like he did last season at this time, even though he started this game at left back!
McClaren started with an odd-looking defense, and because of the artificial surface he had left both Fab Coloccini and the recently returned Steven Taylor out of the side, so we had a very inexperienced defense at the start of the game.
With Curtis Good injured, our other two central defenders Mike Williamson and Jamaal Lascelles were also rested.
And the inexperience at the back really cost Newcastle in that first half, with Shane Ferguson and Lubo Satka starting in central defense, and Gael Bigirimana and Rolando Aarons starting as the full backs.
Now there’s a really strange-looking back four for you.
An error from Satka after 14 minutes allowed Kharlton Belmar through, and while his shot was saved by Karl Darlow, Fatawu Safiu hit home the rebound.
Ten minutes later Anthony Manny was completely unmarked (where was the defense?) as he headed home a Nanchoff free-kick, and then Taylor Peay scored from a set-piece after just 30 minutes.
It was 3-1 at half time,and Steve McClaren made four changes and in came the experienced Dutch defender Daryl Janmaat and 18 year-old Freddie Woodman also came into goal to replace Karl Darlow.
We were lucky not to go 5-1 down after 55 minutes when Nanchoff hit the crossbar with a free-kick.
But Portland Timbers scored again with 20 minutes to go, when Jeanderson beat Bigirimana down the right and Besler headed home the right-wing cross past Woodman.
Then in the last fifteen minutes Newcastle came to life – or should we say Rolando Aarons came to life with one great goals and another one minute later.
Aarons magnificently flicked a cross from Bigirimana into the air and the ball finished in the back of the net after the winger hit the ball with a great overhead kick to make it 4-2.
Aarons scored again within a minute when he hit a shot past the goalkeeper but Newcastle couldn’t get the equalizer and went down 4-3.
This was not a good way to end the US tour as we were out-played in that first half against an MLS reserve side.
Newcastle: Darlow (Woodman, 46); Bigirimana, Satka, Ferguson, Aarons; Abeid (Anita, 65), Wijnaldum (Janmaat, 46); Gouffran (de Jong, 77), Sissoko (Obertan, 46); Perez, Cisse (Armstrong, 46).