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Newcastle make their point

Published: Friday 17 December 2004, 0.01CET
Newcastle United FC 1-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal A draw is enough for the English club to win Group D.

Match statistics

NewcastleSporting

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target1
 
1
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards3
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Friday 17 December 2004, 0.01CET

Newcastle make their point

Newcastle United FC 1-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal A draw is enough for the English club to win Group D.

Newcastle United FC secured top spot in UEFA Cup Group D as they drew 1-1 with Sporting Clube de Portugal at St James' Park on Matchday 5. The home team took an early lead through a headed goal by the impressive Craig Bellamy before Custódio pegged back the English side.

Sporting third
With FC Sochaux-Montbéliard defeating Panionios NFC 1-0 in the other group game, Sporting will now face one of the other group winners in the last 32. Newcastle, who reached the semi-finals of this competition last season, will take on one of the third-placed qualifiers.

Shearer missing
With inspirational captain and striker Alan Shearer still out with a thigh injury and an injury-ravaged side struggling to find form, Graeme Souness's Newcastle were desperately looking for a positive result. While the performance lacked incision, they got the point they needed against skilful opposition.

Bellamy strikes
Mauricio Pinilla, back in the Sporting side after injury, gave Newcastle an early scare after narrowly failing to make contact in the box before Bellamy scored the opener after just five minutes. A Shola Ameobi flick-on was misjudged by Beto just inside his box and the swift Welshman nipped in to loop a header over the stranded Ricardo.

Ricardo saves
Fabio Rochemback and Darren Ambrose exchanged long-range shots in what proved a competitive opening period. Bellamy was twice caught offside before getting in behind the visiting defence on 25 minutes. The Wales international scampered free down the right flank only to be denied by Ricardo, who rushed off his line to close down the striker.

Custodio levels
The game was played at a fast pace with Newcastle's Titus Bramble, Ameobi and Aaron Hughes receiving yellow cards. It soon got worse for the home team as, six minutes before the break, Custódio rose highest to meet Rochemback's whipped free-kick and sent a powerful header past Shay Given.

Bellamy miss
Bellamy should have restored the lead a minute before half-time, but his close-range header went wide of the far post. Liedson received a yellow card for a late challenge on Olivier Bernard before Ambrose again tried his luck - unsuccessfully - from range.

Set-piece threat
Ambrose began to trouble Sporting with his set-piece delivery after the break. A low free-kick from a narrow angle on 50 minutes was spilled by Ricardo but steered wide by Ameobi. Then Ambrose tested the Sporting goalkeeper with an inswinger from distance and the Portuguese international leapt well to punch clear.

Ameobi effort
Both sides struggled to create clear-cut opportunities as the game entered the closing stages. Newcastle's high-paced tempo - epitomised by the hard-running Ameobi - inevitably began to flag and Sporting began to find their passing rhythm.

Bellamy blow
Newcastle's goal threat was dealt a final blow when Bellamy suffered an injury with just ten minutes to go, allowing 19-year-old striker Lewis Guy to make his debut and it was the visitors who posed the biggest threat in the closing stages of a match which ultimately satisfied both parties.

Last updated: 17/12/04 10.55CET

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