Club Atlas 2 Newcastle United 1: Losing start for Steve McClaren in the USA

Newcastle United lost to Club Atlas in the opening game of their US tour
Newcastle United lost to Club Atlas in the opening game of their US tour

Newcastle United suffered a pre-season defeat at the hands of Club Atlas tonight.

Two first-half strikes from Gonzalo Ruben Bergessio gave the Mexican side a 2-1 win at Miller Park, Milwaukee.

Moussa Sissoko netted for Newcastle in front of a 21,256 crowd at the home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.

The match was McClaren’s second in charge of Newcastle, who will now head to Sacramento, California, for the second leg of their USA tour.

And Club Atlas, near the end of their own pre-season preparations, proved tough opposition.

They domninated the first half, though a spirited United improved after the break and Papiss Demba Cisse was convinced his second-half shot had crossed the line before it was scrambled away.

Moussa Sissoko.

Moussa Sissoko.

Newcastle had started the game well. Forward Yoan Gouffran had a second-minute chance, forcing a save from Miguel Angel Pinto at his near post with a right-footed shot.

But seven minutes later, they went behind.

Defender Jamaal Lascelles clumsily brought down Bergessio in the box, and the Argentine forward stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.

It got worse for United, who were missing defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

Bergessio lifted the ball over Krul with a delicate first-time shot after he was played in in the box, and the 30-year-old was denied a hat-trick by the crossbar in the 22nd minute.

Club Atlas, much further into their pre-season, looked sharper and stronger, and they controlled the game.

Sissoko crossed for Cisse in one break forward, but the striker couldn’t connect properly and the ball ran wide of goal.

Cisse returned the favour on the stroke of half-time by slipping the ball through for the midfielder, who had broke down the right. Sissoko beat Pinto with a neat finish into the far corner of the net.

McClaren replaced Krul with Karl Darlow for the second half.

Pinto scrambled away an effort from Cisse in the 54th minute – the striker felt the ball had crossed the line – and Siem de Jong shot wide four minutes later after Sissoko played him in.

United had the better of a keenly-contested half, and Gouffran put a shot from distance over the bar.

McClaren sent on Gabriel Obertan, Gael Bigirimana, Adam Armstrong, Rolando Aarons, Shane Ferguson and Ayoze Perez for the last 17 minutes.

But their fresh legs couldn’t force a breakthrough, and Club Atlas held on to claim the victory.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul (Darlow, 46); Janmaat (Bigirimana, 73), Williamson, Lascelles, Haidara (Ferguson, 73); Anita, Colback; Sissoko (Perez, 73), de Jong (Aarons, 73), Gouffran (Obertan, 73); Cisse (Armstrong, 73). Sub not used: Woodman.