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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Newcastle 1-0 Fenerbahce
By Phil Harlow

Newcastle goalscorer Antoine Sibierski
Sibierski celebrates his match-winning goal at St James' Park
Newcastle got their Uefa Cup Group H campaign off to an excellent start as Antoine Sibierski's goal earned victory over a dangerous Fenerbahce side.

Sibierski struck on 79 minutes after Fenerbahce goalkeeper Rustu Recber failed to hold Steven Taylor's shot.

Fenerbahce looked threatening on the break, but failed to really test Magpies keeper Steve Harper.

Obafemi Martins went close on numerous occasions for Newcastle, while their new-look back four held firm.

St James' Park was little more than half-full to see the injury-hit Magpies take on the Yellow Canaries, although England coach Steve McClaren was among the relatively sparse crowd.

Damien Duff, asked to fill in at left-back, showed his attacking instincts were as sharp as ever as he linked up well with Charles N'Zogbia to help Newcastle win a corner inside the first 60 seconds.

But, as befits a side coached by Brazilian legend Zico, Fenerbahce looked more than comfortable in possession and provided warning of their intent with a couple of sharp counter attacks in the first 10 minutes.

N'Zogbia rasped an ambitious effort into the side netting on 25 minutes, as the home side's willingness to attack down the flanks began to hurt Fenerbahce.

Martins chested a loose ball down before firing in a dangerous low shot from 25 yards which flew narrowly wide of the left post.

Obafemi Martins
Martins worked hard with little reward for Newcastle

A half-hearted penalty appeal - when N'Zogbia's header was blocked at point-blank range by Onder Turaci's arm - was turned down, but the best chance of the half fell to Martins moments later.

James Milner's persistence down the right saw him rob Umit Ozat of the ball before rolling it into Martins' path only for Turaci to make a superb block.

Fenerbahce restricted themselves to attacks on the break, and forced Newcastle's youthful defence, with Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage paired at centre-back, into a couple of mistakes which went unpunished.

The final seconds of the first half saw Taylor's powerful header fly just over the bar as the teams went into the break level.

The visitors made by far the better start to the second half, as the one-touch football of Alex and Tuncay Sanli made life difficult for Newcastle.

Former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman was also looking dangerous, but it was Newcastle who finally forced a save worthy of the name from Rustu.

Martins, slowly growing in confidence, leapt high into the air to meet N'Zogbia's curling cross only to see his well-directed header saved.

Soon after, Martins drew another good save from Rustu after cutting inside and firing in a dangerous shot.

Newcastle finally made the breakthrough on 79 minutes, when Rustu could only palm Taylor's shot into the path of Sibierski who powered the ball into the net.

Fenerbahce upped their tempo as they pressed for an equaliser, but Newcastle refused to buckle as they kept a clean sheet for the first time since 17 September.


  • Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder:
    "To say I'm delighted would be an understatement - it was such an important win for us because of our recent results.

    "Fenerbahce have got a terrific record and they showed they are a strong side.

    "They are a very good team but no-one can deny that we thoroughly deserved our victory."


    Newcastle: Harper, Carr, Taylor, Ramage, Duff, Milner, Parker, Emre (Butt 54), N'Zogbia (Solano 64), Sibierski, Martins (Ameobi 75).
    Subs Not Used: Luque, Moore, Bramble, Krul.

    Goals: Sibierski 79.

    Fenerbahce: Rustu, Turaci, Lugano, Edu Dracena, Ozat (Deivid 81), Yozgatli (Boral 69), Appiah, Aurelio, Sanli, Kezman, Alex.
    Subs Not Used: Demirel, Metin, Arat, Baris, Balci.

    Booked: Ozat, Turaci.

    Att: 30,035

    Ref: Grzegorz Gilewski (Poland).

    SEE ALSO
    Uefa Cup photos
    19 Oct 06 |  Football


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