SHANGHAI, July 20 : Newcastle finally won their first game in China as they beat West Ham 1-0 here at Shanghai Hongkou Stadium.
Newcastle showed a significant improvement after their midweek 4-0 defeat to Wolves in Nanjing. This was their first game since the new manager, Steve Bruce took over as manager of the club. Despite not being pitchside for the game, the new manager had clearly made an impression on the side, with the Magpie players keen to impress Bruce.
It took until the 8th minute for Newcastle to have their first big chance, with Japanese international Muto having his shot saved by West Ham keeper, Fabianski. West Ham's first real chance came after 15 minutes as a dangerous free-kick was headed over the Newcastle bar.
The sustained pressure paid off when Muto got Newcastle's first goal of the game and of the tournament. A curled low cross from young winger Isaac Hayden was met by Muto, who smartly steered the ball past Fabianski at the far post. Muto's energy was a constant problem for the West Ham Center backs throughout the game.
West Ham started the second half with more fluidity and at a greater pace in attack, keeping Newcastle in their own half for the first ten minutes. However, after the rush of the first period of the half Newcastle evened up the possession in the game.Newcastle found the back of the net again on the 75th minute with a deflected Shelvey shot, however, the linesman adjudged that the midfielder had received the ball in an offside position and the goal was disallowed. After a quiet period, in the 88th minute, Newcastle once again saw a goal disallowed after the ball came in from an offside position. In the closing stages of the game, West Ham pushed hard for an equalizer, yet after a few nervous moments for the Newcastle defense, the game finished 1-0. (XINHUA)