Michael Owen on target again in Manchester United victory
20 July 2009 04:26
Michael Owen repeated his debut strike for Manchester United by claiming his second goal in two games on the club's Far East tour. Owen, who came off the bench to score the winning goal against a Malaysian XI on his United debut on Saturday, doubled his tally for his new club against the same opposition in Kuala Lumpur.
Premier League champions United, who fly to South Korea for the next leg of their pre-season tour on Wednesday, had taken the lead through teenage forward Federico Macheda prior to Owen's goal.
But for Friday's terrorist attacks in Jakarta, United would have been tackling an Indonesia All-Stars team in the Indonesian capital rather than facing the Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur for the second time in three days.
A minute's silence was held prior to this game in the Bukit Jalil Stadium as a mark of respect to the victims of the Jakarta bombings.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, having fielded the majority of his strongest team against the Malaysians on Saturday, handed starts to Owen, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher in this 'rematch' and the Premier League champions once again claimed an early 2-0 lead against the hosts.
Macheda, starting alongside Owen, opened the scoring with a tap-in from three yards on 11 minutes when, after knocking Fabio's cross into the path of Fletcher, he darted to the far post before converting the Scotland midfielder's pass. Within two minutes, United had doubled their lead when Owen scored his second goal in two games with another predatory strike.
Zoran Tosic's cross to Macheda was half-cleared by the Malaysian defence and the ball dropped to Owen, who sent a right-foot strike into the net from 12 yards.
Owen, who has targeted an England recall following his free transfer move to United from Newcastle, almost scored his second of the game when he volleyed another Tosic cross against the far post shortly before half-time.
With Ferguson keen to build up Owen's fitness progressively, he replaced the 29-year-old with Dimitar Berbatov on 62 minutes, shortly after Brazilian full-back Fabio had been replaced by Patrice Evra due to injury.
Fabio was initially carried off on a stretcher, but the teenager was able to walk around the side of the pitch before returning to the bench.
With the game fizzling out, Wayne Rooney headed a lengthy list of substitutes introduced by Ferguson in the closing stages.
And the England forward, perhaps frustrated by his lack of action, was fortunate not to catch the Malaysian referee's attention following reckless challenges on goalkeeper Farizal Marlias and midfielder Amar Rohidan.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-4-2): Foster (Kuszczak h-t); Neville (O'Shea 62), Brown, Evans (Ferdinand 62), Fabio (Evra 58); Fletcher (Anderson 69), Carrick (Gibson 69), Giggs (Scholes 69), Tosic (Nani 62); Owen (Berbatov 62), Macheda (Rooney 67).