Amoebi strikes late as Newcastle draws with Spurs

Shola Amoebi preserved Newcastle’s unbeaten record in the

Premier League by coming off the bench to score a late equalizer in

a 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Sunday.

Amoebi came off the bench to drive home a low, angled shot in

the 86th minute at St. James’ Park just when it appeared substitute

Jermain Defoe’s goal in the 68th would earn in-form Tottenham a

fifth straight league win.

Netherlands playmaker Rafael van der Vaart converted a penalty

in the 40th to put Spurs ahead after Emmanuel Adebayor was tripped

by Steven Taylor, but Demba Ba’s fifth goal of the season leveled

the match three minutes.

Newcastle stretched its unbeaten run to eight games to remain

fourth in the table, two points ahead of fifth-place and three

clear of Tottenham in sixth. The only other unbeaten teams are

leader Manchester City and second-place Manchester United.

”In the end you’re walking off slightly disappointed not to

have won it,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. ”We had some

great chances but we’ll settle for a draw. We’re still unbeaten and

we’ll take it to the next game.”

After Taylor tripped up Adebayor as the Togo striker burst into

the area for Tottenham’s penalty, the hosts equalized when

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez produced an impressive run

before crossing to find Ba.

That galvanized the Magpies but also opened them up to

counterattacks from Spurs, with Adebayor firing across the face of

goal and Tim Krul saving from Van der Vaart.

Defoe replaced Van der Vaart and, five minutes later, turned

smartly on midfielder Scott Parker’s pass to send a left-footed

shot beyond Krul into the bottom corner.

”When you’re 2-1 up in the 80-whatever minute you’re looking

for the three points, that’s for sure,” Tottenham manager Harry

Redknapp said. ”We got in some great positions on the break, but

didn’t pick the right ball.”

Ben Arfa and Amoebi were inserted in the 71st minute and

immediately sparked Newcastle with a frantic finale following

Amoebi’s equalizer as Defoe saw a chance blocked by Krul.

Fabricio Coloccini volleyed wide in injury time before Amoebi

pleaded for a handball after Jake Livermore blocked his shot in the

waning moments.

Newcastle has 16 points from eight games and Tottenham has one

game in hand.