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Saudi-owned Newcastle Beats Southampton, Closes on Cup Final

Saudi-owned Newcastle Beats Southampton, Closes on Cup Final

Wednesday, 25 January, 2023 - 06:15
Newcastle's Joelinton celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the EFL Cup semifinal, first leg soccer match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, England, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Newcastle is close to reaching a first cup final since being bought by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Joelinton scored a 73rd-minute winner as Newcastle beat Southampton 1-0 away in the first leg of the English League Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

The second leg is next week at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park, where the team is unbeaten in all competitions this season. Southampton will also have to score against the best defense in English soccer, with Newcastle having now kept 11 clean sheets in its last 12 games.

Coachied by manager Eddie Howe, the team from the northeast has rapidly grown into a force this season. It is also challenging for Champions League qualification, sitting in third place in the Premier League heading into the second half of the campaign.

Both teams are looking to end long trophy droughts. While Southampton’s one and only piece of major silverware is the FA Cup in 1976, Newcastle has to go back even longer for a big domestic trophy — the FA Cup in 1955.

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