Last night, Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, with 51,000 excited fans played host to English Premier Football team Manchester United for their friendly against local PSL team AmaZulu.
The match is the first of two friendlies arranged for Manchester United to play in South Africa’s against local teams. The next game against Ajax is scheduled for Saturday 21 July at Cape Town Stadium. In what was a tight match, Manchester United came out victorious with a final result of 1 – 0 at the final whistle.
Federico Macheda was the hero of the moment when he collected a pass from Dimitar Berbatov and drilled home a low right-footed effort beyond AmaZulu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.
The Gunners – who made sweeping changes from the midweek Carling Cup semi-final win over Ipswich – took the lead when Nicklas Bendtner’s angled shot deflected off Terriers skipper Peter Clarke on 22 minutes.
However, influential midfielder Samir Nasri limped off with a hamstring problem, which could yet rule him out of the Champions League showdown with Barcelona, before Sebastien Squillaci was shown a red card by referee Mark Clattenburg for blocking Jack Hunt’s surging run.
Alan Lee headed a deserved equaliser for the Terriers, but Fabregas won it from the spot after Jamie McCombe was adjudged to have pushed Bendtner over.
The striker’s sprained ankle is believed to be recovering far quicker than previously expected and he could yet feature against the Germans on Wednesday despite officially being ruled out of action for “two to three weeks” after being injured in last week’s first-leg tie.
According to The Guardian, ‘Rooney has responded well to treatment and could be in line for a surprise recall to Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad if he comes through a training session today.
‘Ferguson will not risk the England forward if there is a chance of aggravating the injury further and last night United’s medical staff attempted to play down the chances of a comeback by only rating his chances of playing as “40%”.’
John Terry, Chelsea captain believes the support he received from English teammates and fans since losing the armband shows unity.
The 29-year-old, stripped of the armband following allegations involving Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend that led to his former Chelsea team-mate turning his back on England, was subjected to jeers from a pocket of fans at Wembley when his name was read out before kick-off.
The boos from a minority of supporters continued in the first half but were forgotten by half-time, with England then coming back from a goal behind at the interval to record a victory in the friendly against Africa’s champions.
Terry is hoping a line is now drawn under the saga and Fabio Capello’s men can put the finishing touches to their preparations for the World Cup this summer with the backing of the fans.
Joleon Lescott is ready for his medical with Manchester City, but Everton manager David Moyes has criticized the Eastlands club, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi’s multi-millionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, for not preparing to pay what he thought was the going rate from the outset.
The England international is expected to undergo a medical on Monday after City finally came up with a bid which met the Merseysiders’ valuation of the player. Having rejected two previous offers – the first about £18million – Everton are reported to have accepted £24million from City for Lescott.
Asked if the Lescott deal was well advanced the Everton boss said: “If they (City) say they are quite far on I’m sure they are.
“But we shouldn’t have been asked to wait this length of time for an amount of cash we think was the correct value for the player.
Jan Sillo, Premier Soccer League Amazulu‘s star defender, has been killed in a car crash early on Tuesday.
Sillo was a key member of the Usuthu team and had given a fine performance in the club’s opening league match against Bidvest Wits at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday. He joined AmaZulu in the 2006-07 season and had previously featured for Bloemfontein Young Tigers and Zulu Royals.
“The club received the terrible news of right-back Jan Sillo’s passing in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday) through a report by the police to team manager James Dlamini. The details of ‘Lombo’s’ passing are still not clear but it is believed he was rushing back to Durban coming from his hometown, Bocabelo,” said the club on its official website.
Manchester United beat Wigan 1 – 0 last night to move up to the second spot on the Premier League table, but the win did not come without bad news since the goal scorer Wayne Rooney limped off with a hamstring injury in just the seventh minute that will keep him sidelined for 3 weeks.
Although Wigan had arrived at Old Trafford in fine form, having won six of their last seven league games, their record against United was a sorry six defeats from six meetings in the Premier League, so the form book was certainly on the champions’ side as they attempted to edge to within two points of leaders Liverpool.
Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford emphasised the growing confidence within United ranks, however, and the determination to put pressure on Liverpool was evident as Ferguson’s team raced out of the traps at the start of the game. But even so, United’s lightning start took the breath away as they opened the scoring inside the first minute when Rooney pounced on Ronaldo‘s cross from the right flank.
The United winger easily beat his marker on the edge of the penalty area and his cross into the six-yard box was missed by defender Paul Scharner, allowing Rooney to stroke the ball home from close range. It proved to be Rooney’s last involvement in the game, though, with the England forward succumbing to injury just six minutes later.
Ferguson replaced Rooney with Carlos Tevez and the Argentinian forward – whose future at the club is far from secure – should have doubled United’s lead after being teed up by John O’Shea midway through the first-half. O’Shea’s header from Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland’s clearance freed Tevez thirty yards from goal, but the former West Ham striker over-ran the ball after rounding the keeper and he could only aim his shot into the side-netting.
Wigan did not sit back, however, and they caused United a host of problems through Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia. Valencia, reportedly a January target for Real Madrid and Liverpool, delivered a series of dangerous crosses, but strikers Emile Heskey and Amr Zaki failed to take advantage.