Newcastle Utd 0 Hertha Berlin 1

Last updated : 03 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
A late goal from Hertha Berlin's Maximilian Nicu condemned Newcastle to a defeat in the Mallorca Cup ... with one game to go.

The German striker struck with 10 minutes remaining as the Magpies face hosts Real Mallorca on Sunday in an effort to save face.

The goal came after Hertha's Marko Pantelic played a one-two with second-half substitute Lennart Harrtmann before striding past Newcastle keeper Tim Krul to cross for the unmarked Nicu to nod in.

Newcastle spurned plenty of chances to open the scoring, but the strike force of Shola Ameobi and Alan Smith looked to have no future as they failed to find any sort of partnership.

Damien Duff had the Magpies' best chance on the hour. The Republic of Ireland winger skipped past three Hertha defenders before drifting in from the left wing only to see Jaroslav Drobny scramble across his goal to save his shot.

Jonas Gutierrez made his debut for Keegan's side in the stadium where he has spent the last three years playing for Mallorca.

The Argentina winger looked lively for the Magpies down the left flank from the start and had a right-foot shot sail just over the bar two minutes into the second half.

Jose Enrique replaced Gutierrez on 69 minutes and Hertha piled on the pressure soon after.

Rafael Caetano went close to giving the German side the lead with 12 minutes to go but his curling shot went just wide of Krul's goal.

Pantelic and Santos Cicero had chances to put Hertha two up after Nicu's strike but one goal was enough to condemn Newcastle to defeat.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Harper (Krul, 63); Geremi, Taylor, Cacapa, N'Zogbia; Milner, Guthrie, Butt, Gutierrez (Enrique, 70); Ameobi (Duff, 59), Smith. Subs not used: Bassong, Edgar, Tozer, Danquah, Doninger, Godsmark, Donaldson.

HERTHA BERLIN: Fiedler (Drobny, 10), Kaka, Von Bergen, Chahed, Cicero, Pantelic, Rafael, Stein, De Lima, Arguez (Nicu, 74), Lustenberger (Haartmann, 67). Subs not used: Lakic, Domovchyski, Bigalke, Fardi.