Newcastle progress in UEFA cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Newcastle United went through to the group stages of the UEFA Cup following a 2-1 victory over Levadia Tallinn in their first round, second leg match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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Newcastle United went through to the group stages of the UEFA Cup following a 2-1 victory over Levadia Tallinn in their first round, second leg match on Thursday. Obafemi Martins scored twice at the beginning of the second half to ensure the Magpies progressed 3-1 on aggregate, with Indrek Zelinski scoring a consolation goal for the visitors. The Magpies held a 1-0 advantage following the first leg in Estonia, but they came under pressure in the early stages of the match. Levadia had a great chance to restore parity in the 22nd minute when some lazy defending left Vladimir Voskoboinikov clear on goal. Luckily for the hosts his diving header went high over goalkeeper Steve Harper's crossbar. On the half-hour Newcastle could have extended their advantage had it not been for some brave defending by Tihhon Sisov, who prevented Steven Taylor from getting on the end of a cross from Emre at the far post. Emre trying luck Emre himself was soon trying his luck. In the 36th minute, the Turkish midfielder came close with a free kick that went just wide. Three minutes later the former Inter Milan star went even closer, when he forced keeper Artur Kotenko to tip another free kick over the crossbar from a tight angle. The match remained goalless to the half-time whistle but the situation all changed in the first five minutes of the second half. Awarded a corner in the 48th minute, Emre fired the ball in and another former Inter player, Obafemi Martins, latched on to the cross and headed the ball into the back of the net. It was his first goal at St James' Park and the crowd went wild. Three minutes later the Magpies were 2-0 ahead. Again it was Martins who provided the goal, blasting a left-foot shot past Kotenko. Newcastle were now 3-0 ahead on aggregate and looked well set to progress to the group stages of the UEFA Cup. Their visitors, however, were not giving in and they pulled a goal back with 63 minutes gone. Substitute Indrek Zelinski made his mark within two minutes of coming on to the pitch with a downward header that squirmed under Harper's body and into the net. The Magpies needed to be on their guard. Nicky Butt tried to extend his side's lead further in the 67th minute, but was denied by a great block from Sisov. Newcastle held on to their advantage to the final whistle and Glenn Roeder's side progressed to the group stages of the UEFA Cup thanks to a 3-1 aggregate win. (AP)

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