Newcastle blanks Crew 3-0

Shola Amoebi scored in the first half and Fabricio Coloccini and Haris Vukcic added goals in the second half and Newcastle of England's Premier League defeated the Columbus Crew 3-0 Tuesday in a friendly.

Amoebi put Newcastle up 1-0 in the ninth minute. Coloccini scored in the 53rd minute following a corner kick that deflected off two Crew players on the way to being cleared and Vukcic added the final tally in stoppage time.

The Crew entered the match without starting goalkeeper William Hesmer and third-stringer Alex Riggs because of injuries and No. 2 keeper Andy Gruenebaum was ejected by referee Michael Kennedy in the 45th minute for handling the ball outside the penalty area as he slid to stop a break.

Gruenebaum will be eligible for the Crew's Major League Soccer match at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Crew coach Robert Warzycha thought the ejection was harsh.

"You have fans in the stadium who came to see a good game and came to see the players," he said. "It was difficult for us to play the second half and for the fans to enjoy the game.

"It was the referee's decision, but I think if he had given a yellow card, everyone would have appreciated that."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew agreed.

"The referee, probably knowing that he'd be criticized heavily if he didn't send him off fully, thought that was the correct decision," he said. "I'd prefer he hadn't. Of course we didn't want that for (the) Crew. Certainly the second half was a little bit easier for us."

Chris Konopka, an emergency keeper employed by MLS while training with the New York Red Bulls, made two saves.

He arrived in Columbus about six hours before the match, but said having spent a week with the Crew during the preseason in Arizona in February helped.

"If I came I here completely blind, to not being able to train with the guys before the match, I probably would have struggled even more," he said. "At least I knew the names of all the back four."

Newcastle completed its preseason tour of the U.S. with a 1-1-1 mark.