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Sibierski strike fells Fenerbahçe
Newcastle United FC made a winning start to the UEFA Cup group stage thanks to a 79th-minute goal from Antoine Sibierski against Fenerbahçe SK. Scrambled winner For the first 25 minutes Fenerbahçe looked as though it was they who were playing at home, as prolonged periods of possession and composed inter-passing left Newcastle chasing shadows. But the hosts gradually got into their stride and were value for their second-half winner, which came when Sibierski pounced to score from close range following a goalmouth scramble. Carr threat Newcastle first came to life when Charles N Zogbia tried a hopeful shot from a wide angle on 27 minutes after being put through by Sibierski. Obafemi Martins then announced his intent with a turn and shot from 20 metres which fizzed narrowly wide before N Zogbia s goalbound header was blocked by Lugano following great work by Stephen Carr, who was a constant threat down the right wing. Home domination On 35 minutes James Milner almost embarrassed Lugano by dispossessing him on the goalline and cutting the ball back for Martins, who was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Önder Turacı. Indeed Zico s side were relieved to hear the half-time whistle moments after Steven Taylor’s powerful header narrowly cleared the bar. Martins header The visitors approached the second half with more attacking intent as Stephen Appiah and Mateja Kežman both tried their luck from distance but Martins twice went close to breaking the deadlock at the other end. He saw his glancing header saved by the outstretched Rüştü Reçber just after the hour and, five minutes later, directed his shot straight at the goalkeeper, following a fine exchange of passes with Scott Parker. Eventually, though, Newcastle s pressure paid off when, following a 79th-minute corner, Sibierski fired past Rüştü.