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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Newcastle defeat Birmingham
Birmingham 1-2 Newcastle

Kenny Cunningham brings down Craig Bellamy for a penalty
Kenny Cunningham brings down Craig Bellamy for the penalty

Shola Ameobi netted the winner for Newcastle against Birmingham in the Asia Cup in Malaysia.

Ameobi headed in just two minutes after Birmingham had equalised from the penalty spot through Paul Devlin.

Earlier, the Magpies had themselves taken the lead from the spot with the ever-reliable Alan Shearer scoring with ease from 12 yards.

Kenny Cunnigham's foul on Craig Bellamy resulted in Newcastle's opener after 35 minutes and the Birmingham defender was sent-off for the offence.

Cunningham mis-timed his tackle on Bellamy who had been put through on goal by Newcastle debutant Lee Bowyer after Birmingham had given the ball away.

Blues boss Steve Bruce may feel his player was harshly punished with the game being a pre-season friendly.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Birmingham 1-2 Newcastle
Malaysia v Chelsea
Match B - 25 July 1345 BST
Third place play-off
26 July 1345 BST
Final
27 July 1345 BST
But his team showed little sign of their disadvantage of being a player down and were the better side after the interval.

Bryan Hughes and Stern John both went close before Magpies defender Titus Bramble upended Darren Carter in the area to gift Birmingham a penalty.

Devlin put it away confidently only for Ameobi to head in off the post from Bellamy's cross minutes later.

Blues striker John then missed an open goal for manager Steve Bruce's side and Newcastle held on for the win.

They will now play in the final of the competition against either Chelsea of Malaysia on Sunday while Birmingham will play in a third-place play off on Saturday.


Teams:

Newcastle: Harper, Griffin, Bramble, O'Brien, Bernard, Dyer, Bowyer, Speed, Robert, Bellamy, Shearer. Subs: Given, Solano, Jenas, Cort, Ambrose, Hughes, Ameobi, Woodgate, Chopra, Caldwell, Viana.

Birmingham: Bennett, Damien Johnson, Cunningham, Upson, Clapham, Savage, Dunn, Clemence, Lazaridis, Horsfield, Dugarry. Subs: Doyle, Kenna, Devlin, John, Carter, Tebily, Hughes, Purse.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire)





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