Sunday, July 25, 2010
**Manchester United's pre-season campaign suffered a setback with a shock 2-1 defeat to 10-man Kansas City Wizards in the United States.
Davy Arnaud opened the scoring for the MLS side after 11 minutes before Dimitar Berbatov equalised from the spot and Jimmy Conrad was sent-off four minutes before the break.
But Kansas City hit back less than two minutes later through Kei Kamara to subject United to an embarrassing defeat.
Paul Scholes forced the first save of the match when his right-footed effort from outside the box was kept out by Jimmy Nielsen.
But it was Kansas City who took a shock lead when captain Arnaud beat the offside trap before coolly slotting home past Ben Amos in the United goal.
And the hosts looked to exploit a shaky Red Devils back four - Rafael, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Ritchie De Laet - with former Millwall man Ryan Smith and Canadian Teal Bunbury both going close in quick succession.
Nani was making his first start of United's pre-season tour after injuring himself ahead of Portugal World Cup campaign and the tricky winger looked most likely to haul the visitors level, forcing a fingertip save from Nielsen from his glancing header.
But it took the intervention of referee Terry Vaughn to draw United level after Berbatov was brought down in the box by Conrad after a superb through-ball by Ryan Giggs.
Despite the game being designed to be a crucial pre-season test for United, Conrad was inexplicably shown a red card before Berbatov dusted himself off to casually convert the spot-kick.
But the 10-man Wizards were soon back in front when the unmarked Kamara powered home an unstoppable header from a corner to leave Sir Alex Ferguson with plenty of talking to do at half-time.
United, despite the one-man advantage, looked devoid of ideas after the break and their performance was summed up with Mame Biram Diouf scuffing two good opportunities within minutes of each other.
Despite dominating large spells of possession, United failed to really test substitute keeper Eric Kronberg in the second half.
Substitute Danny Welbeck proved a menace down the left flank but twice the 19-year-old forward fired in a low cross without finding a United team-mate.
And, in fact, it was the Wizards who were more likely to score again with Jack Jewsbury and Stephane Auvray both going close from distance as the home side registered a famous result.
George Scott / Eurosport
Kansas City: Nielsen, Thomas, Conrad, Harrington, Smith, Rocastle, Auvray, Arnaud, Espinoza, Kamara, Bunbury
Manchester United: Amos, Rafael, Smalling, J.Evans, De Laet, Nani, Scholes, Gibson, Giggs, Berbatov, Diouf
Labels: Manchester United