Newcastle advance but concede equaliser and top spot for now
Newcastle 1 Maritimo 1:Maritimo substitute Fidelis ruined Newcastle’s night as they limped rather than marched into the knockout stages of the Europa League.
The striker, who almost 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 climb to the top of Group D by virtue of their 2-1 away win over Club Brugge in Belgium.
Alan Pardew’s men will now have to win in France on December 6th if they are to snatch back top spot in a game which will be a dead rubber in terms of qualification.
A draw was little more than the visitors deserved on a night when Newcastle once again played in fits and starts in front of a meagre crowd of 21,632.
However, the result was not the only disappointment for Pardew, who saw the in-form Hatem Ben Arfa limp off with a hamstring injury and striker Papiss Cisse follow him down the tunnel after half-time.
Ben Arfa had already tested the mettle of the Maritimo defence with a couple of fleet-footed runs when he collected Gael Bigirimana’s 23rd-minute pass and fed it perfectly into the run of compatriot Marveaux.
The winger accelerated away from full-back Ferreira before sliding a left-foot shot through Salin’s leg.
There was little Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Kru could do to deny the powerful Fidelis in the 79th minuute, however, as he burst past first 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.