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Stalemate sees Newcastle through

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22 Nov 2012 22:47:34

Stalemate sees Newcastle through

Maritimo substitute Fidelis ruined Newcastle's night as they limped rather than marched into the knockout stages of the Europa League in a 1-1 draw.

The striker, who might even have snatched victory deep into stoppage time, came off the bench to cancel out Sylvain Marveaux's first Magpies goal 11 minutes from time and allow Bordeaux to climb to the top of Group D by virtue of their 2-1 victory over Club Brugge in Belgium.

Alan Pardew's men will now have to win in France on December 6 if they are to snatch back top spot in a game which will be a dead rubber in terms of qualification. The result was not the only disappointment for Pardew, who saw Hatem Ben Arfa limp off with a hamstring injury and striker Papiss Cisse follow him down the tunnel shortly after half-time.

Newcastle ran out having lost their last two games at St James' Park - to West Ham and Swansea in the Barclays Premier League. But once again, they were less than fluent in the early stages as Maritimo took the game to their hosts.

The Magpies mustered the first attempt on goal when left-back Davide Santon cut inside to unleash a fierce third-minute shot which keeper Romain Salin managed to repel. However, it was the Portuguese outfit who settled better as Tim Krul had to deal with a long-range effort from Ruben Ferreira.

Ben Arfa then collected Gael Bigirimana's 23rd-minute pass and fed it perfectly into the run of compatriot Marveaux, who slid a left-foot shot through Salin's legs to open his Newcastle account. Cisse thought he had made it 2-0 eight minutes before the break when he pounced on a rebound, but his strike was harshly ruled out by an offside flag.

Ben Arfa had gone down heavily under David Simao's challenge during the build-up and, after treatment, limped off the pitch clutching his hamstring. Demba Ba joined the fray as his replacement, but Cisse's involvement ended within five minutes of the restart when he walked gingerly from the pitch to be replaced by midfielder Romain Amalfitano.

Sammy Ameobi's deflected 52nd-minute effort prompted another less-than-convincing save by Salin, but Krul had to tip Danilo's speculative strike over two minutes later with Maritimo still in the game. They went close to a 59th-minute equaliser when Sami met Danilo's cross with a firm header, but could not hit the target.

Ameobi stabbed an effort wide with 21 minutes remaining. Krul had to beat away Ferreira's 73rd-minute drive, but there was little he could do to deny the powerful Fidelis as he burst past first Steven Taylor and then Fabricio Coloccini to blast home an equaliser.

Fidelis volleyed across the face of goal from substitute Ruben Brigido's cross in the third minute of stoppage time, as the final whistle was greeted by boos from the home fans.


PA

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