Magpies too good for Belgians
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Newcastle put one foot into the last 16 of the Uefa Cup when beating Zulte-Waregem.
Newcastle put one foot into the last 16 of the Uefa Cup when claiming a 3-1 win at Zulte-Waregem.
The Magpies have enjoyed their European jaunts this term and an own goal from Frederic Dindeleux and penalty from Obafemi Martins set them on their way to victory.
Karel D'Haene headed home an excellent goal for the home side 22 minutes from time, but Antoine Sibierski grabbed a third for Newcastle and Glenn Roeder will be confident of his side completing the job on Tyneside.
Newcastle settled quickly and Martins made an early statement of intent when firing wide from 20 yards.
Damien Duff has flattered to deceive this term, but he looked full of dash in Belgium and it took a good tackle from Dindeleux to half the Irishman's progress.
Martins' pace caused problems for the Belgian part-timers and he had a shot saved on 15 minutes, while he passed up a great chance on 25 minutes when slicing a shot wide having been played in superbly by Kieron Dyer.
Zulte-Waregem failed to test Steve Harper in the opening half and they were thankful to their keeper Pieter Merlier for keeping them on level terms.
He made a fine parry at the feet of Dyer and seconds before the break he produced an instinctive save with his foot to thwart Martins who looked certain to score after taking Nolberto Solano's raking cross in his stride.
Newcastle built a solid platform in the first half and they used it to spring from minutes after the break.
Dyer, who carried a threat in the first half with his clever runs, dashed in behind the Belgians and played in a low cross which Dindeleux contrived to slam into his own net.
Newcastle took great confidence from the goal and Martins twice went close to doubling the lead, hitting the outside of the post with one shot and flashing another effort a foot wide of goal.
The Magpies put the game beyond the home side just before the hour, as Martins tucked home from the spot after Duff had been felled in the box by Merlier following a jinking run.
Zulte appeared a beaten side, but Newcastle handed them a lifeline 22 minutes from time as D'Haene nodded home from a Loris Reina free-kick. Newcastle, though, were their own worst enemies as Celestine Babayaro gave away a needless free-kick near the touchline to hand the home side their opportunity.
D'Haene forced Harper into a fingertip save minutes later as the home side chased a leveller, but Newcastle responded superbly to claim a third.
Sibierski showed great feet to collect a ball on the edge of the box, nutmegged a defender and rounded the keeper before slotting home.
The third goal knocked the stuffing out of the home side and Newcastle's defence, which was marshalled superbly by Titus Bramble, stood firm to ensure they retained a cushion ahead of the second leg.
|SV Zulte Waregem||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||5|
|2||Shots off Target||7|