Newcastle United FC completed a comfortable passage to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Cup as Obafemi Martins's fourth goal of the campaign earned a 1-0 home victory over SV Zulte Waregem and a 4-1 aggregate success.
If the result ended Zulte Waregem's memorable first venture into Europe, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Newcastle can now look forward to a meeting with AZ Alkmaar. The Premiership side started brightly and nearly scored early as defender Steven Taylor saw his goalbound header blocked on the line by Stijn Meert and then James Milner flashed a shot narrowly over the crossbar.
The Belgian visitors gradually settled to their task, however. On the half-hour it took an excellent saving tackle from Titus Bramble to stop Sébastien Siani running clear and Wouter Vandendriessche was then denied in similar circumstances by Taylor. Yet it was not until the second period that Newcastle's Steve Harper had to make a save, beating out Vandendriessche's drive, and once the unmarked Bart Buysse had failed to connect with Tim Matthys's free-kick on the hour, Zulte Waregem's faint hopes faded altogether.
If Martins was profligate when steering a free header wide shortly after the break, he was altogether more assured on 68 minutes when he fired Newcastle in front. Damien Duff's pass put him through to guide the ball coolly beyond Sammy Bossut from the left side of the box. Man of the match Bramble then made sure of Newcastle's victory on the night with a superb challenge on Matthys in the dying seconds.