Miguel Almiron needed just 19 seconds to provide a stunning antidote to Newcastle’s corona virus crisis as Magpies fought West Brom to win points at St James’ Park.
Former Baghdad player Dwight Gayle came off the bench and won in the 82nd minute. After Darnell Farlong overcame the baggie level, Almiron overtook past baggie keeper Sam Johnston.
The 2-1 win gave Steve Bruce a timely relief after a two – week nightmare in which a virus outbreak closed the club’s training ground and postponed his trip to Aston Villa last week.
Bruce was forced to make relatively minor changes to the line-up with Federico Fernandes, Javier Manquillo and Fabian Shar.
His patch-up side of ill-fated bagels, including Robinson and Dara Ozia, proved to be the best when it came to the slow reaction to Crystal Palace’s hammer last week, but failed to take advantage of it when the hosts started liking him.
Almiron’s quickfire opener arrived shortly after the visitors took possession of the kickoff, allowing Jamal Lewis to lift a long ball past Matt Ritchie and Branislav Ivanovic to the left.
Richie’s cross into the box made an effort to bring Paraguay into space and allow them to stand after a brief VAR review for handball.
Slaven Bilik’s men, and especially Ivanovic, were shocked when Almiron boosted their defense again in the 16th minute, but was forced into a tight corner and fired a low shot against Johnstone.
West Brom got their first chance at the semi-finals when an attempt from a corner in the box was blocked, while Matt Phillips ‘long-range whip showed the visitors’ lack of confidence at the forefront.
There was a problem that reflected behind Albion, who was close to going to a JoJo Shelvey corner without being marked by Joylinton, and then before the Brazilian overtook Ivanovic and fired at Johnstone, the unmarked time must have been square for Wilson.
In the 37th minute Phillips tried again from long range and then Carlan Grant sprouted into the offside trap of Magpies, but his low cross was handled well by Emily Kraft.
Just before the break the visitors had their best chance when a Phillips cross was erased in half and fell to Conor Gallagher, who jumped wide from 12 yards to reach the goal.
West Brom fired early in the second half and equalized within five minutes. Farlong won a low drive past Carl Darlow when he met Phillips’ cross from the left.
As their time at Newcastle began to suffer from the training ground, Gallagher and Charlie Austin boosted their confidence with more chances baggy, and the two escaped the increasingly busy Darlow.
In the 72nd minute, Phillips was busy thanking Johnston for an attempt from Gayle.
Gail was injected with much-needed prominence across the Newcastle front line so he accidentally made his second chance, making eight minutes from time to head home and replacing Jacob Murphy with a profound cross heading.
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