Newcastle managed to pick up some silverware for their efforts in Portugal after beating SC Braga 2-1 in the Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Guadiana last night.
As you can see by the picture, some kid somewhere will be disappointed this morning when he wakes up to find the bridge from his train set has gone missing, but at least it’s in the safe hands of Captain Colo, who again showed how important he is going to be for us this season with a classy display.
All in all it was a good workout with Demba Ba and Ryan Taylor doing the damage in a night of rare chances on the Algarve. Quite a lot of players managed to grab a full90minutes highlighting that we are getting along just fine in our pre-season preparations and once again we managed to come through without losing any of our “big hitters” to injury.
The first half was a half of few chances with the best one falling to Papiss Cisse who fired over the bar from eight yards out after good work from Demba Ba. Other than that I’m struggling to recall a time when either ‘keeper was tested during the first period.
However that changed in the second half as the chances started to flow. First off Jose Luis broke clear and took the ball round Steve Harper only to find James Tavernier on hand to block his effort and usher it out for a corner. It was Newcastle who had the next chance though just after the hour mark when Sylvain Marveaux jinked his way into the penalty box only to be upended by Douglao who was booked for his tackle. Demba Ba stepped and saw his spot kick saved only to be on hand to tuck the rebound through the legs of the Portuguese goalkeeper.
The lead didn’t last long however and parity was restored just five minutes later through Ruben Amorim who saw his shot take a cruel deflection off the leg of Fabricio Coloccini leaving Steve Harper with no chance. A shame as 60 seconds prior to that Sammy Ameobi had thought he’s made it 2-0 to United only to see his chested effort ruled out for offside.
Ryan Taylor restored the lead with a thunderbolt free-kick that left Beto – on the brink of tears after Ba’s penalty – bemused and beaten all ends up.
Braga didn’t die though and they created several chances to equalise, with Ze Luis causing the Newcastle defence problems with his pace and direct running as he struck the post with a curling effort. However their challenge all but came to an end when Brandao hammered into Sammy Ameobi before giving the assistant referee a mouthful which left the referee no choice bout to produce a second yellow card to condemn the defender to the stands for the remainder of the match.
Yohan Cabaye could have put some gloss on the finish but his volleyed finish bounced up off the turf and had to be tipped over by Beto which pretty much wrapped up proceedings for the night.
Final score: Newcastle 2-1 SC Braga
I’d just like to apologise for the delay in getting this article to you. My original plan was to get up at 2:30am and write this before I went to work but unfortunately I overslept so couldn’t quite get it finished in time. Still, better late than never I guess.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, James Tavernier, Ryan Taylor, Sammy Ameobi, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Sylvain Marveaux, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba
Subs: Tim Krul, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye, Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid, Romain Amalfitano, Shola Ameobi
SC Braga: Beto, Baiano, Douglao, Paulo Vinicius, Luis Alberto, Ruben Amorim, Carlao, Paulo Cesar, Ismaily, Manoel, Djamal
Substitutes: Custodio, Hugo Viana, Salino, Mossoro, Alan, Helder Barbosa, Jose Luis, Eder, Lima, Cristiano, Elderson