Malaysia XI 0 Manchester United 2: Michael Owen scores again as champions ease to victory
Michael Owen has certainly played on bigger stages in his career, but he is taking a shine to Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Jalil Stadium. Manchester United's new striker scored on his debut for the Barclays Premier League champions here at the weekend and last night he did it again as Sir Alex Ferguson's players strolled to a 2-0 half-time lead against a Malaysian Select XI. Having scored late on as a substitute to spare United's blushes and earn them a 3-2 win over the same opposition here on Saturday, Owen has started today's game and has already scored again and hit the post. It was United's young Italian striker Federico Macheda who opened the scoring tonight, rolling the ball in after collecting Darren Fletcher's cross in just the 11th minute. But it is Owen who is stealing the show so far and he us certainly living up to Wayne Rooney's assertion that he has looked sharp since arriving on a free transfer earlier in the month. Owen's goal here tonight arrived in the 12th minute and was another poacher's effort as he seized on a rebound to score from close in. But it was his flick against the post from Zoran Tosic's cross just after the half hour mark that proved to be the highlight of the half. United have so far coped better with the heat and the humidity tonight than they did on Saturday. Two days of acclimatization has clearly worked wonders. We are sweating here in the press box though. It must be all the excitement. Sadly there hasn't been much more to get excited about here tonight as the second half was more notable for 10 United substitutions and a poor tackle from Wayne Rooney than anything else. Playing in such hot conditions, it is perfectly understandable that United's players are used sparingly, even if so many changes do detract a little from the game. United should have stretched their lead on two occasions as Rooney fired dreadfully wide when clean through in the 69th minute and Anderson missed the target completely with nine minutes to go. Sadly for Rooney, this has not been one of his more commendable nights as he ended the evening by having a wild lunge at Malaysia midfielder Amar Rohidan. The Asian player may have made a slight meal of it but Rooney's challenge could well have seen him sent off in the Premier League and is certainly not an encouraging sign at the start of what is a World Cup year. UNITED: Foster (Kuszack 45) Neville (O'Shea 57), Brown, Evans (Ferdinand 57), Fabio (Evra 57), Fletcher (Scholes 70), Carrick (Gibson 70), Giggs (Anderson 70), Tosic (Nani 57), Macheda (Rooney 57), Owen (Berbatov 57).
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