Newcastle United FC's long winning streak ended at the weekend, while their UEFA Cup quarter-final opponents Sporting Clube de Portugal enjoyed a notable victory on Monday night.
After a run of eight straight victories, including both legs of the Round of 16 tie with Olympiacos CFP, Newcastle were held 1-1 on Saturday at Portsmouth FC in the Premiership. Kieron Dyer's clever flick put the visitors ahead on 43 minutes, but Steve Stone equalised just before half-time. Despite relinquishing a lead, Newcastle climbed up to tenth.
Patrick Kluivert returned to the Newcastle side as a late substitute after a knee injury, but defender Celestine Babayaro remains out with a similar problem and Shola Ameobi missed the game due to a hip niggle. The Newcastle players not on international duty this week are now in Dubai on a training camp.
Sporting, who visit Newcastle for the first leg on 7 April, ended the run of another English team last Thursday: a 1-0 home win completing a 4-2 aggregate triumph against Middlesbrough FC. On Monday, Sporting joined FC Porto, Boavista FC and SC Braga on 45 points in the SuperLiga, six behind leaders SL Benfica, with a 2-0 victory against nine-man Porto. Liedson and Carlos Martins scored in the second half as Sporting emerged triumphant at the Estádio José Alvalade.
Defenders Hugo and Custódio missed the Porto match with achilles and knee injuries respectively. Fábio Rochemback and Anderson Polga were also sidelined, although both are recovering quickly from injury and are close to full fitness. However, Nigerian defender Joseph Enakarhire was substituted in the 68th minute after taking a knock.
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