Owen spares both Manchester United and Ben Foster’s blushes in entertaining match
Malaysia XI 2-3 Manchester United
A 100,000 capacity saw Manchester United do the expected but some goalkeeping errors turned what looked like a comprehensive victory into a game that was only minutes away from a draw.
Even though this match was scheduled some time back, when Ronaldo was still a United player, they did at least get to see the new no.7 Michael Owen get his name on the scoresheet. In fact, Owen’s goal turned out to be a late 85th minute winner in what was a very entertaining game.
There were no surprises in the first half hour. Manchester United applying pressure on the opposition and always looked likely to make early inroads. Dimitar Berbatov, in particular, looked most threatening withing the first 10 minutes. He first had a rasping volley saved, followed by a Wayne Rooney effort before once again Berbatov tested ‘keeper Mohammed Farizal Marlias.
But it was Rooney who got the opener in the 9th minute. After a scrappy leading into the goal, the striker latched on to a parry from the goalkeeper and he buried it from close range.
He then turned provider, with an exquisite through ball to Nani, who made no mistakes with the finish. Before the second goal, Malaysia’s Amri Yahyah tested Van der Sar and here was a man who you could tell was going to be a threat.
Of course that was the case. After Scholes and Berbatov had great chances to extend the visitors lead, Yahyah capatalised on an Patrice Evra mistake on the stroke of half time, with a volley which caught a backtracking Van der Sar off his line, much to the delight of the fans inside the Bukit Jalil Stadium.
The home side started to improve after the break, another Patrice Evra blunder which Mohamad Aidil Zafuan going close with an effort from range. United still continued to create chances, Wayne Rooney with a lob which missed the target by inches.
But talisman Yahyah once again scored courtesy of a howler from second half sub Ben Foster. Failing to control a simple back pass, Foster allowed Yahyah to get ahead of him and score and suddenly the game was on level terms. This sent the fans into raptures.
Again Wayne Rooney had a goalscoring chance. After a good cross from Nani, a snapshot from the England international went over the bar. He was then substituted for Michael Owen, the new addition into the Red devils side.
After a through ball from Darron Gibson was cut off from Marlias, the ball rolled to the edge of the box, into the path of Owen, who calmly slotted home the winner.
Manchester United: Van der Sar (Foster) – O’Shea, Ferdinand (Brown), Evans, Evra (Fabio) – Scholes (Tosic), Anderson (Giggs), Gibson, Nani – Rooney (Macheda), Berbatov (Owen)
EDIT: Manchester United will play a rematch with a Malaysia XI on Monday, the same day when they were due to play in Jakarta, Indonesia, but due to the terrorist’s attacks that game could not go ahead. They also ruled out a possible trip to Australia to play a game.