Sun, Dec 28, 2008 - Page 18 News List

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR MATCHES: Wigan’s Zaki shoots down Magpies

AFP , WIGAN, ENGLAND

Newcastle United’s Mark Viduka, left, battles for the ball with Wigan Athletic’s Titus Bramble during their English Premier League match at the JJB Stadium in Wigan, England, on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Wigan Athletic striker Amr Zaki ended his goal drought to help clinch a 2-1 win over 10-man Newcastle United on Friday.

Zaki had gone four matches without scoring, but the Egyptian, on loan from El Zamalek, got the decisive strike from the penalty spot at the JJB Stadium.

Steve Bruce’s team went ahead in the first half through Ryan Taylor and took complete control when Zaki scored his 10th goal of the season after Newcastle’s Sebastien Bassong was sent off for a professional foul on Emile Heskey.

Newcastle got one back in the final moments when Danny Guthrie slammed home a penalty, but it was too late to salvage a point.

Joe Kinnear must have known it was going to be a long day when he lost Jose Sanchez Enrique to injury in the warm-up and was forced to move Australia striker Mark Viduka into his starting line-up.

It might have been different if Michael Owen had given Newcastle the lead in the 14th minute when he slipped the Wigan offside trap and bore down on goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

But Wigan took the lead in the 29th minute when Taylor rifled a free-kick past Shay Given from long-range.

Newcastle suffered more problems five minutes later when defender Habib Beye was carried off after being caught by a reckless lunge from Lee Cattermole.

The Wigan Athletic midfielder received the yellow card from referee Mike Dean.

Given was much the busier goalkeeper in the second half, producing the save of the match when he turned a Taylor shot around the post.

The penalty came when Bassong brought down Heskey after a running battle into the penalty area. Dean had no option but to send off Bassong.

Zaki dispatched the spot-kick to set up a thrilling and frantic finale in which Guthrie scored from the spot after Kirkland had brought down Andrew Carroll.

A dispiriting defeat for Newcastle was complete when Viduka walked off before substitute Andrew Carroll was ready to come on, prompting chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” from the traveling fans.

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