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FC Seoul 2 Manchester United 3

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24 Jul 2009 14:13:52

FC Seoul 2 Manchester United 3

Ji-Sung Park was afforded pop-star status on his Manchester United homecoming in South Korea as Sir Alex Ferguson's team claimed a hard-fought victory against FC Seoul. Park, making his first club appearance in South Korea since signing for United in 2005, played the final 16 minutes of this game as the Premier League champions continued their Far East tour prior to Sunday's fixture against Hangzhou Greentown in China. The home side almost embarrassed United, however, after twice taking the lead through Montenegro striker Dejan Damjanovic. United started slowly and the continued absence of Nemanja Vidic, left in England to nurse an ankle injury, ensured that the Premier League champions lacked their usual solidity at the heart of defence. And Wes Brown, back to full fitness after an injury-ravaged campaign last season, displayed signs of ring-rust when he allowed Damjanovic to open the scoring for FC Seoul on 24 minutes. Brown and John O'Shea lost the imposing forward inside the penalty area and the striker was left to prod Kim Seung Yong's cross past goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak. Wayne Rooney hauled United level seven minutes later when he directed O'Shea's cross into the net with his left shoulder from inside the six yard box. But Damjanovic punished United at the back once again during first-half stoppage time when he beat the offside trap and restored the Koreans' lead by shooting beyond Kuszczak and into the far corner. The 27-year-old, a journeyman forward with an enviable scoring record, did enough against United's defenders to suggest that he could have an impact in the Premier League should the opportunity arise. Damjanovic was denied the glory of settling the game for FC Seoul, though, with United raising their game and taking the lead in the second-half. Teenage forward Federico Macheda equalised on 58 minutes when he coolly rounded substitute goalkeeper Park Dong Suk after racing onto Rooney's pass. And Berbatov then put United into the lead with his first goal in the Far East tour when he sent a powerful header past the keeper from Darron Gibson's 65th minute cross. The main event for the 64,000 South Koreans inside the World Cup Stadium was seeing national hero Park take to the field, however. Every big screen shot of the midfielder merely sat on the bench generated huge noise, with the decibels rising even higher when he warmed up down the touchline after the interval. A noise counter on the big screens reached maximum when Park entered the fray on 74 minutes by replacing Michael Carrick. But the 28-year-old could not provide the goal that would pretty much have lifted the roof off the stadium had he scored during his brief appearance. MANCHESTER UNITED (4-4-2): Kuszczak (Van der Sar h-t); O'Shea, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra (Fabio 74); Fletcher (Gibson h-t), Carrick (Park 74), Giggs (Scholes 60), Anderson (Nani 60); Macheda (Berbatov 60), Rooney (Owen 60). Subs: Evans, Tosic.


Telegraph

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