Did He Mean It? Stoke's Erik Pieters scores freak goal vs Newcastle | inside World Soccer

Did He Mean It? Stoke's Erik Pieters scores freak goal vs Newcastle

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Erik Pieters scored for the first time in a Stoke City jersey with a fortuitous goal to secure a 1-0 win over crisis-torn Newcastle United at the Britannia Stadium.

The visitors were boosted by the return of goalkeeper Tim Krul from injury while Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross became the first player to make 200 Premier League appearances for the club.

Both sides had glorious chances to break the deadlock in the first-half, with Stoke's Peter Crouch heading against a post from five yards whilst Dan Gosling scooped over a great chance from six yards out.

But it was Pieters, one-time target of Newcastle, who opened the scoring just before half-time in unlikely circumstances.

Pieters, who joined from PSV Eindhoven last year, lofted a cross from the left that eluded everyone, floating over the head of Krul and into the top corner of the net.

The last time the Dutch full-back had found the net was in 2008 when he scored for Utrecht.

"In fairness to Erik I think he's held his hands up and admitted that there was a little bit of fortune," Stoke boss Mark Hughes said afterwards.

"He's got himself in that position on the field this season to good effect, putting quality balls in that haven't been converted. Today he's put another ball in and it's gone in.

"It's always difficult for a player to come into a new league and he's played almost every game for me in all fairness and prior to that he'd not played a lot of football over the year.

"So for him to come in and have a great first season in the Premier League does him great credit and I'm glad that he was able to get some of the headlines today."

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