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Friday, March 9, 2007

UEFA Cup, Newcastle 4-2 AZ Alkmaar

NewCastle Take Two-Goal Lead To Alkmaar
Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins struck twice as Newcastle took control of their UEFA Cup round of 16 tie with a 4-2 victory over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. The pace of the 10-million-pound signing from Inter Milan was a persistent threat and, on a night of brisk attacking football and pitiful defending, it was his two finishes that stood out.

The tie, however, is far from over.

AZ Alkmaar have never lost a home European tie, and their second away goal will give them hope of overturning the two-goal deficit in next week's second leg and so preventing Newcastle from reaching their third quarter-final in this competition in four seasons.

Martins was in awesome form at St James' Park, and it was his presence that forced Grétar Steinsson to put into his own net as early as the eighth minute. Two goals in two minutes from Martins and Kieron Dyer then left Newcastle three to the good midway through the half before Shota Arveladze struck for AZ Alkmaar. Martins scored again eight minutes before half-time, and Newcastle will be favourites at the Alkmaarderhout in seven days' time, though Danny Koevermans' second-half effort gives AZ Alkmaar hope.

Newcastle: Given, Bramble, Taylor, Carr, Solano, Dyer, Parker, Butt, Duff (Emre 77), Sibierski (Milner 65), Martins.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Luque, N'Zogbia, Huntington, Carroll.

Goals: Steinsson 8 og, Dyer 22, Martins 23, 37.

AZ Alkmaar: Waterman, Steinsson, Jaliens, Opdam, De Cler, Jenner (Lens 65), De Zeeuw, Martens (Dembele 59), Boukhari (Luirink 83), Koevermans, Arveladze.
Subs Not Used: Bulters, Cziommer, Donk, Vormer.

Booked: Steinsson.

Goals: Arveladze 31, Koevermans 73.

UEFA Cup, NewCaslte 4-2 AZ Alkmaar extended highlights and goals: