Newcastle United 1 Real Sociedad 0: Sissoko claims victory with late goal

NET GAIN ... Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko.
NET GAIN ... Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko.
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MOUSSA Sissoko ensured Newcastle United’s pre-season campaign ended on a high.

Sissoko scored the only goal of this afternoon’s final friendly against Real Sociedad three minutes from time at a sodden St James’s Park.

Newcastle’s only other real chance fell to defender Mike Williamson, but visiting goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli was equal to his second-half header.

United will now start preparations for their Premier League opener at home to champions Manchester City a week today.

The game saw applause in the 17th minute in memory of United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney.

Alder and Sweeney lost their lives on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on their way to watch Newcastle in New Zealand last month.

Pardew, without injured duo Cheik Tiote and Siem de Jong, handed full home debuts to Remy Cabella, Jack Colback, Emmanuel Riviere and Daryl Janmaat.

Neither side looked particularly threatening in the final third of the pitch in the first half.

Cabella, handed a free role behind lone striker Emmanuel Riviere, was lively when he got on the ball, but he didn’t get on it nearly enough.

At the other end, Imanol Agirretxe had a couple of half chances for Sociedad, who knocked Aberdeen out of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Pardew replaced Gouffran – who had played on after being caught by Markel Bergara in the first half – with Rolando Aarons at the break.

Colback had a shot blocked early in the second half, and Aarons saw a weak shot deflected wide.

And Newcastle almost got a breakthrough in the 60th minute, when Williamson forced a fine save from Rulli with a header from a Cabella corner.

The game looked destined to end goalless when substitute Gabriel Obertan crossed from the right.

Sissoko was at the far post to drill a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat (Armstrong, 84), Williamson (S Taylor, 67), Coloccini (Yanga-Mbiwa, 67), Haidara (Dummett, 59); Sissoko, Anita (Abeid, 67), Colback (Obertan, 59), Gouffran (Aarons, 46); Cabella (Ferreyra, 74); Riviere Perez. Sub not used: Alnwick.

REAL SOCIEDAD: Rulli; C Martinez, Gonzalez, I Martinez, Berchiche; Granero, Bergara, Canales; Agirretxe, Prieto, Castro.

Goal: Sissoko 87

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 19,188