Owen hits winner on Man Utd debut

18 July 2009 01:11
Michael Owen marked his first appearance for Manchester United with an 84th-minute winner in a 3-2 victory over a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.Owen, who came on as a second-half substitute, reacted smartly to slot home a loose ball after Zoran Tosic had been upended in the penalty area. A predatory Wayne Rooney strike opened the scoring before Nani's composed finish doubled United's advantage. A Mohammed Amri Yahyah brace then gave the hosts hope before Owen pounced. Owen, who also scored on his Liverpool debut as a 17-year-old, sent a miscued volley bobbling harmlessly across the face of the goal before finding the net in trademark fashion. The 29-year-old said: "It's just nice to play with players who are on your wavelength, spotting your runs - they are just class players. "It's nice to play a game in the red shirt. Just to get off the mark for the season is nice and it's probably doubly good for me as it's my first game as well." United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with Owen's contribution. "He's different from our other players, he's always searching for space, he's always in and around the box. He reacted well for his goal," he stated. In a United side shorn of summer departures Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, Rooney was the man of the match, scoring the opener, setting up the second and going close several times. Almost 100,000 fans packed the Bukit Jalil Stadium to watch the famous visitors. United were set to travel to Indonesia for the second match of their Far East tour but have cancelled the trip following Friday's bomb attacks in Jakarta. Instead, United will have a rematch against the Malaysia XI team on Monday. The Football Federation of Australia had offered to arrange a game on Monday but United declined the invitation. The extra travel would have meant a nine-hour flight to Sydney and then an 11-hour trip to Seoul, where United are set to play on Friday. United will head back to Europe straight after a game in China next Sunday.

Source: BBC_Sport