Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Owen On Fire Again As Manchester United Beat Malaysia 2-0

Manchester United's Italian wonder kid Federico Macheda and latest signing Michael Owen struck early to help the English Premier League champions beat a Malaysian XI, 2-0 in their second meeting at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Monday night.

The match, played here after Manchester United cancelled their scheduled match against Indonesia in Jakarta, got off to a sizzling start in front of about 40,000 fans despite both teams observing a minute of silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the Jakarta bombings before the kickoff.

The Red Devils who struggled to beat the same side 3-2 on Saturday, got off to a flying start today with Macheda showing his prowess in front of goal to put his side ahead in the 10th minute after latching on to a Darren Fletcher pass.

Two minutes later, Owen who scored the winning goal on Saturday, silenced his critics yet again, when he punished a mistake by Malaysian skipper Norhafiz Zamani Misbah to increase the lead.

Unlike on Saturday, Mohd Amri Yahyah, scorer of both Malaysia's goals in the 2-3 loss, and his striking partner Mohd Zaquan Adha found the Red Devil defence, marshalled by Wes Brown, a tough nut to crack.

With the match almost in the bag, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson changed almost the entire team on the field, especially in attack by introducing Nani, Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney for Owen, Tosic and Macheda, but the score remained unchanged.

Apart from the trio, Ferguson replaced Tomasz Kuszczak for Ben Foster in goal, John O'Shea for Gary Neville, Patrick Evra for Fabio, Rio Ferdinand for John Evans in defence, Anderson for Carrick, Paul Scholes for Ryan Giggs and Gibson for Fletcher in midfield.

Manchester United who had visited Malaysia in 1991, 1995 and 2001, are here on their Asian Tour that includes matches in South Korea and China while their intended trip to Indonesia was cancelled when Ritz Carlton Hotel where the team was supposed to stay, was among two, the other being JW Marriot, were damaged by bombings.

The Red Devils play South Korea on July 24 and China next.

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