Newcastle were denied victory in their third match of pre-season as Champions League chasing Fenerbahce scored a late leveller against Alan Pardew’s men.
Substitute Mehdi Abeid had put United ahead with 14 minutes remaining but the Turkish giants equalised on the stroke of full time courtesy of a low shot by Cristian Baroni which Rob Elliot perhaps should have done better with.
Still a decent workout against a team who will be competing in Europe next season, perhaps at the same level as us depending on how they get on in their Champions League qualifier over the next couple of weeks. It was pretty level throughout although you could tell that both sides weren’t at their best and were still some weeks away from peak performance.
United could have taken the lead midway through the first half had Haris Vuckic managed to take advantage of a poor back pass by Miroslav Stoch. And Vuckic again could have put the Magpies in the lead just a few minutes later after being played in on the left of the box but his shot lacked conviction and was comfortably saved. Dan Gosling then saw his header loop over the bar after a fine cross from Cheik Tiote.
It was a half of few real chances and Newcastle had the best of them. Rob Elliot never really had much to do as Fenerbahce were restricted to shots from distance – none of which threatened the United goal.
However it was a different story early in the second half and first former Chelsea youngster Miroslav Stoch went close with a curling drive before Alex cut inside Ryan Taylor and shot just over the bar.
At the other end Newcastle posed arguably more of a threat with Sammy Ameobi replacing the lacklustre Haris Vuckic. Indeed it was thanks to good combination work by Sammy Ameobi and Demba Ba that our next chance arrived although Demba dithered which gave the Fenerbahce defence enough time to get the block in and clear the danger.
Ryan Taylor was next up to have an attempt at goal although his 25-yard free-kick curled just wide of the Fenerbahce goal with the Turkish goalkeeper either beaten all ends up or being supremely confident that the shot was going wide. I’m still undecided on that one to be honest…
However United did take the lead on 76 minutes courtesy of Mehdi Abeid, who showed terrific composure after being played in by Sammy Ameobi and cooly finished past Gunok in the Fenerbahce goal.
Newcastle could have extended the lead through either Sammy Ameobi or Papiss Cisse who saw their efforts saved, or Shola Ameobi who fired his volley into the ground only to see it clear the crossbar.
The Turks weren’t to be denied though and on the stroke of full time they got the equaliser from Cristian Baroni, who hit a low effort from the edge of the box which Rob Elliot, and most people actually, will probably be disappointed that he didn’t save.
Match highlights below. They start at about 25 seconds in, after what looks to be some form of TV advert for a Turkish dating website…
Newcastle will now return to Tyneside before heading out to Portugal later on in the week in preparation for the Algarve Tournament. The next match will be next Friday against Olympiakos and will kick-off at 7:45 (UK time) followed by another game against SC Braga on the Saturday, again with a 7:45pm (UK time) kick-off. Both matches will be live on ESPN.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Rob Elliot, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, James Tavernier, Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Cheik Tiote, Gabriel Obertan, Haris Vuckic, Demba Ba
Subs: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Jonas Gutierrez, Mehdi Abeid, Gael Bigirimana, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi, Papiss Cisse
Fenerbahce: Mert Gunok, Orhan Sam, Bekir Irtegun, Alex, Serdar Kesinal, Hasan Ali Kaldarim, Dirk Kuyt, Mehmet Topal, Cristian Baroni, Miroslav Stoch, Moussa Sow
Subs: Serkan Kirintili, Gokhan Gonul, Selcuk Sahin, Henri Bienvenu, Salih Ucan, Recep Niyaz, Caner Erkin, Ozer Hurmaci, Semih Senturk, Sezer Ozturk, Volkan Demirel, Mehmet Topuz