Owen opens United account
Michael Owen opened his account with the winning goal on his debut as Manchester United defeated a Malaysia XI 3-2. The England striker, picked up by Sir Alex Ferguson on a free transfer after his contract with Newcastle expired, stepped off the bench to spare the Red Devils' blushes in the opening game of their Far East tour. United looked to be cruising to a routine victory as they eased into a 2-0 lead in front of almost 100,000 fans in Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Jalil Stadium, only to allow their hosts to draw level. Owen started among the substitutes as Ferguson began life without Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez by pairing Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in attack. And the duo combined to open the scoring in the eighth minute as Rooney lifted the ball into the roof of the net from close range after the Bulgaria international had been denied by goalkeeper Mohammed Farizal Marlias. Rooney then turned provider midway through the first half as he threaded an expert ball through the Malaysian defence which Nani slotted home. But their lead was halved moments before the interval when Mohammed Amri Yahyah fired home a stunning long-range effort from outside the box which left stranded goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar floundering. Fergsuon's men were rocked at the start of the second period when an error by substitute goalkeeper Ben Foster allowed Amri Yahyah to roll the ball into an empty net and bring the scores level. And it was left to Owen to emerge as the hero on his debut as he calmly slotted home from the edge of the box with time running out after Darron Gibson's through-ball had initially been cut out by Marlias.
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