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November 22, 2012
• St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee: D. Makkelie
• Attendance: 21632
S. Marveaux 23'
So, it's full time at St James', and the bottom line is that Alan Pardew's men have qualified from Group D. The finer details, though, do not make for particularly impressive reading. After a comfortable start to the game, the hosts' failed to extend their lead against a clearly limited opposition, and were desperately short of attacking imagination after Hatem Ben Arfa's departure midway through the first half. The equaliser was glaringly preventable, and, after a last-gasp chance for Fidelis, Newcastle will be happy to come away with even a draw. Apparent injuries to Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse will not please Pardew, but ultimately, his side got their job done this evening, even if they did make hard work of it. Thanks for reading!
90' + 4'
FULL TIME. The referee blows for the end of the game, and a 1-1 draw is how we finish here tonight. Newcastle are through, but they made heavy weather of what should have been a straightforward task of qualifying.
90' + 3'
Newcastle could so easily be losers here! A lofted cross finds Fidelis free at the back post, but his shot is struck into the ground and wide. A true heart-in-mouth moment at St James' Park there.
90' + 1'
Newcastle look to get the ball forwards quickly, to push for the three points, but their attacks lack a true focal point and a frustrating sloppiness has invaded their play. The game looks to be headed for a draw.
The hosts, one imagines, can barely believe the current scoreline, having not conceded a single clearcut change before Fidelis's goal. A 1-1 scoreline is enough to send them through to the knock-out stages, although they currently stand within a lapse of concentration away from a shock home defeat.
Fidelis could have a second here, but he had just wandered offside prior to firing home Danillo's through ball. Shortly afterwards, Danny Simpson ventures forward to hit a hopeful effort at goal and force a corner.
GOAL!! Disasterous defending from the home side, as they allow striker Fidelis to saunter through their back line, into their penalty box, and to hit a strike at goal, almost completely unchallenged. To give the Brazilian his dues, his direct run was exactly what the visitors have been lacking so far tonight, and his low, drilled finish through Krul's legs was clinical. 1-1
The Magpies finally construct a clever attack, with some tidy interplay between Santon and Marveuax down the left wing resulting in Demba Ba being just crowded out of getting on the end of the Italian's cross inside the six-yard box.
The visitors' need for a win is now beginning to display itself, as Ruben Ferriera tests Krul at his near post after collecting an overhit corner, and a further effort is thrashed over the bar by Danilo following a half-cleared second corner.
Sammy Ameobi pokes a decent chance just wide, after Steven Taylor helped Marveaux's free kick into the six-yard box.
Newcastle are still yet to recover their attacking stride which they briefly discovered towards the end of the first half. Two more promising attacks break down for the home side, first through a heavy touch from Sammy Ameobi, and then through a mix-up between Ba and Bigirimana on the edge of the opposition box. Disjointed stuff from the hosts.
Word from the Newcastle bench is suggesting that Papiss Cisse may well have been removed as a result of his recurring back injury. If that is indeed the case, it represents yet more woe for Alan Pardew, whose injury list does not make for pretty reading at the moment.
Danillo hits another long ranger, this time right-footed from way outside the penalty box, and it's just wide enough of Krul's goal not to worry the Dutchman.
Adilson Tibes Granemann
Another half-chance for the visitors, as Danilo's right wing cross finds the head of Sami, who gets a bit too much purchase on his near post effort, and directs the ball wide of the goal.
The home fans have had a penalty claim turned down by the referee. Steven Taylor was floored messily in the penalty box by Valentin Roberge, but was waved up off the floor by the official after a somewhat dramatic tumble.
Finally, a legitimate goal threat from the visitors, as Danilo rifles a long-range shot at Tim Krul's goal, and the Dutchman parries the strike over his crossbar. It was a save he would be expected to make, but shows some attacking impetus from Maritimo nonetheless.
It's Papiss Cisse to make way for Amalfitano, and Demba Ba presumably becomes the focal point of Pardew's attack.
Again, the hosts appear struck down by the inability to pass the ball with any real decisiveness. The guile missing in the absence of Ben Arfa is already apparent. Pardew seems to want to shuffle his pack, with young midfielder Romain Amalfitano ready to enter the fray.
We're underway again on Tyneside, and it has been confirmed that Ben Arfa's injury is indeed a hamstring problem: not good news for his manager.
So, the hosts find themselves a goal to the good at the game's halfway point, and Alan Pardew will surely be looking to put the result to bed in the early stages of the second half. Maritimo, while tidy enough in possession in the rear two-thirds of the pitch, have posed absolutely no threat whatsoever up front so far - quite the opposite of Newcastle, who could well be further ahead. The departure of Hatem Ben Arfa through injury represents the lone blot on a convincing, if rather straightforward performance from Pardew's men so far.
The referee blows for half time. It's Newcastle 1-0 Maritimo here at St James' Park, and anything other than a home win will be a huge surprise on the basis of those 45 minutes.
The hosts have lowered their intensity since the departure of their playmaker, and now seem content to see out the first half with a one goal lead. Maritimo will need to seriously up their goal threat in the second period should they want anything out of this game. Aside from a comfortable early save, Tim Krul has been a virtual spectator thus far.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Ba, having finally attached his shin pads, is now on the pitch as Ben Arfa's replcement. It looks to be a straight swap, with the Senegalese playing just behind his fellow countryman Cisse.
Worrying scenes for Alan Pardew now though, as Hatem Ben Arfa appears to have injured his hamstring in the buildup to that disallowed goal. He limps off the field, tentatively holding the back of his left thigh, as Demba Ba prepares to replace him.
Newcastle are denied a second goal by the assistant referee's flag. Bigirimana hits a firm shot down the centre of the goal, and the goalkeeper's parry is turned in by Papiss Cisse, who had strayed offside by the finest of margins.
The home side continue to turn the screw, with Davide Santon once again making his way forwards and forcing a corner. Danny Simpson appeared to be limping after having taken a heavy tackle, but looks to be fine to continue.
The goal has done a world of good for Newcastle's general play, with their passing now crisper and more confident, and the side just seeming less frenzied in possession. Their defence looks comfortable, too, with Maritimo yet to cause any problems whatsoever for the Magpies' rearguard.
The goal seems to have invigourated Newcastle. Sammy Ameobi skips past the full-back on the right wing and plays a reverse pass into the overlapping Simpson, whose driven cross is gratefully collected by Salin.
AssistHatem Ben Arfa
GOAL!! Newcastle break the deadlock with a beautifully simple goal. Ben Arfa works some space on the edge of the box and slides a delightfully weighted ball through to Syvain Marveaux down the inside right channel. The winger collects the ball and slots it past Romain Salin without breaking his stride.
Some tentative forages forward from the visitors, now. Maritimor have begun to seek a few more positive balls into their front line, but seem happy enough to play in front of the Newcastle defence for the time being.
The home side are noticeably lacking in cohesion going forward so far. Cisse, their lone striker, has already begun to drop rather deep to look for the ball, while the Magpies' final ball has often been poorly executed. Far from panic stations yet for Pardew's men, though, as they have enjoyed the majority of possession.
A lively opening ten minutes has now quietened down somewhat, and Maritimo enjoy a spell of low-key possession amongst their back four. Newcastle will want to get Ben Arfa on the ball more often than they have done thus far.
An early sighter for Maritimo as Ruben Ferreira cuts out a Danny Simpson pass and hits a speculative left-footed strike towards Tim Krul's goal. The Newcastle 'keeper saves comfortably.
Newcastle continue their early pressure as Sylvain Marveaux siezes upon a loose Maritimo pass and puts Cisse through on goal, though the striker is caught just offside.
Tremendous play from Davide Santon as he cuts inside having made his way forward from left-back and drives a rasping, swerving shot at Salin in the Maritimo goal, who parries the away for a corner.
...and we're underway here. Papiss Cisse breaks away from a congested midfield zone to win a throw for his side, and the ball makes its way back to Tim Krul via Steven Taylor.
The teams are out on Tyneside, and St James' Park is in good voice. As detailed below, Alan Pardew has named a strong side for tonight's game - including star man Hatem Ben Arfa - citing a need to get back to winning ways as the rationale behind his selection.
Subs: Ricardo, Fidelis, Luis Olim, Briguel, Rodrigo Antonio, Ruben Brigido, Joao Guilherme
Maritimo: Salin; Joao Diogo, Roberge, Marcio Rosario, Ruben Ferreira; Joao Luiz, Rafael Miranda, Simao; Danilo Dias, Adilson, Sami
Subs: Elliot, Tavernier, Ferguson, Williamson, Abeid, Amalfitano, Ba
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, S.Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Anita, Bigirimana; Sammy Ameobi, Ben Arfa, Marveaux; Cisse.
The teams are in, and are as follows:
Evening all, and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Newcastle against Maritimo. The hosts are looking for a win from tonight's game to secure their qualification from Group D, and first place in the group.
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