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Owen claims winner on United debut
Published : 18 Jul 2009 12:21:00
Michael Owen marked his Manchester United debut with a late winner to save his side's blushes following the 3-2 victory over a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur. Sir Alex Ferguson's men looked like being held to a surprise draw in the opening match of their Far East tour after both Wayne Rooney and Nani's goals were cancelled out. Owen, though, had other ideas after coming on as a second-half substitute, and when Zoran Tosic was upended in the penalty area, there was Owen to pounce on the loose ball and stroke the Red Devils to victory. It was certainly an encouraging hour-long display from Rooney, during which he scored United's first, created the second and came within a couple of inches of chipping home a third. With Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez consigned to the pages of United's history books, Rooney is now the major figure at Old Trafford. His goal was a real poacher's effort. Darron Gibson crossed after collecting a superb crossfield pass from Anderson, and though Dimitar Berbatov was repelled by Mohammed Farizal Marlias, Rooney was on hand to expertly steer a shot into the top corner. Rooney's place is not under threat. And when he threaded a superb pass through the home defence, Nani applied the finish and it appeared United would saunter home. Mohammed Amri Yahyah, one of only two full internationals to start for the Malaysian side, halved the deficit just before the interval, then they levelled eight minutes after the re-start. Ferguson made a quadruple substitution, Owen among those introduced, with Rooney departing, although not before he had nearly scored again after controlling Paul Scholes' pass and landing a chip just the wrong side of the post. Owen's first effort as a United player was a miscued volley which bounced harmlessly across the home six-yard area. His second proved to be the winner.