Sky Blues Take Positives From Friendly

English Premier League giants Newcastle United ran out 4-0 winners over Sydney FC in only the Sky Blues second pre-season friendly of the season tonight.

English Premier League giants Newcastle United ran out 4-0 winners over Sydney FC in only the Sky Blues second pre-season friendly of the season tonight.

Three defensive errors from the Sky Blues gifted goals to Siem De Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa before a late strike from Adam Armstrong completed the scoring.

“It was a great work out for us,” said Head Coach Graham Arnold. “To come up against a Premier League team who are just three weeks away from the start of their season and we are still 12 weeks away meant tonight was always going to be tough, and it was mainly our mistakes that gifted them the goals.

“There were a lot of positives that we took out of the game. I’d prefer to play teams of this quality at this stage of the season who will punish us and our mistakes.

“Playing against lesser opposition can often camouflage your mistakes but against a Premier League side of the calibre of Newcastle we didn’t get away with it and we’ll learn from that.”

Arnold made one change to the starting eleven that defeated the Macarthur Rams 5-1 just seven days earlier with Serbian defender Nikola Petkovic coming in at the expense of Matthew Jurman.

The opening period was quiet with Sydney FC having enjoying lots of good spells of possession and keeping hold of the ball.

However the deadlock was broken thanks to an error from Sky Blues goalkeeper Ivan Necevski on 19 minutes. The goalkeeper received a back pass from Petkovic on the edge of his box but mis-kicked his clearance to new Magpies signing Riviere. The striker squared the ball back to the unmarked De Jong who slotted the ball easily into an empty net.

Necevski made amends moments later with a good low save from a Gouffran downward header but within seconds the Magpies were 2-0 ahead.

Gouffran picked up the ball on the right and hit a low cross in the six yard box to find the unmarked Riviere who side footed home from close range to make it 2-0 on 28 minutes.

The lead was furthered on 35 minutes when Magpies full back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa strode forward to shoot and see the ball deflect off Ognenovski and into Necevski's left hand corner. It was a lead that wouldn’t be broken before the teams went in at half time.

The teams exchanged substitutions in the opening period of the second half before Gameiro almost broke Sydney FC’s duck just after the hour mark. The striker weaved an opening in the left hand channel and curled a shot with his right foot towards goal which Elliott pushed around the post.

That was the closest either side came to scoring until the 81st minute when Newcastle substitute Adam Armstrong received the ball on the edge of the box, turned inside and fired a left foot strike home.

Sydney FC midfielder Peter Triantis almost pulled a goal back late on with a spectacular volley which just went past the outside of the post but the score remained the same with the Premier League outfit running out winners.

Sydney FC 0 def by Newcastle United 4 (De Jong 15', Riviere 28', Yanga-Mbiwa 35’, Armstrong 81’)

at Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Referee: Campbell-Kirk Waugh

SYDNEY FC:  1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO (26. Max BURGESS 79’), 11. Bernie IBINI, 14. Alex BROSQUE (18. Peter TRIANTIS 61’), 17. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Nick CARLE (8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC 55’), 22. Ali ABBAS, 26. Alex GERSBACH (5. Matt JURMAN 68’).

Subs not used: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC(GK), 13. Themba MUATA-MARLOW, 25. George TIMOTHEOU.

NEWCASTLE UNITED:  21. Rob ELLIOTT, 2. Fabrizio COLOCCINI (44. Adam CAMPBELL 81’), 8. Vernon ANITA, 11. Yaon GOUFFRAN (43. Adam ARMSTRONG 72’), 13. Mapou YANGA-MBWIA, 14. Jack COLBACK (28. Sammy AMEOBI 68’), 15. Siem DE JONG (23. Haris VUCKIC ’45), 29. Emmanuel RIVIERE (17. Ayoze PEREZ GUTIERREZ 54’), 35. Rolando AARONS (39. Mehdi ABEID 68’), 19. Massadio HAIDARA (36. Paul DUMMETT 72’), 27. Steven TAYLOR (37. Lubomir SATKA 72’).

Subs not used: 42. Jak ALNWICK, 47. Frederick WOODMAN.

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