Manchester United 2-0 Club America
(Wilson x 2)
Manchester United’s youngsters got off to a winning start last night as they battled hard to overcome Mexican side Club America in their first game of the Dallas Cup. It was a scrappy game that wasn’t helped by a fussy referee who seemed intent on being the centre of attention, handing out seven yellow cards and sent off an Club America youngster just after the break for two bookable offences.
United had the better of the play in the first half and some nice one touch passing moves led to opportunities where Januzaj and Barmby might have done better, but it was Club America that had the best chance of the first half after the referee awarded them a penalty just before half time after Pearson and Mexican midfielder Solace tangled in the box.
The United players couldn’t quite believe that a penalty had been given and even some of the Club America players looked bemused by the decision. Luckily for United, justice was done as Pierluigi Gollini dived to his right and kept out the spot kick with a great save to ensure the teams went into the break all square.
Warren Joyce made two changes at half-time, bringing on Grimshaw for Ekangamene and Rudge for Hendrie, before replacing Barmby with striker James Wilson. It proved to be an inspired substitution.
United started the second half brightly and were rewarded in the 62nd minute when a pass down the left side found Wilson who’s left footed shot found the corner of the net to make it 1-0. Club America looked to get back on track straight away but had their task made even tougher just five minutes after falling behind when they had a player sent off for a second yellow card.
The ten men came just inches from an equaliser a few minutes later though when midfielder Esquiva rattled United’s crossbar with a left footed strike from just outside the box. Club America continued to press and United’s defence had to stay alert with Tyler Blackett, playing at centre-back, keeping his cool to soak up the pressure.
It wasn’t until the last minute that the game was put to bed with United winning the ball on the edge of their own box before unleashing a fierce counter attack with Wilson, who good strength to hold off his marker and finish calmly past the keeper with his right foot to seal a winning start to the tournament.
The United youngsters will have little time to enjoy their win though as they play their second game tonight at 9pm UK time. Joyce is expected to make a few changes to try and freshen up the team as they take on the Dallas Texans who will be looking to bounce back after losing their first game 1-0 to Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol.
Manchester United team – Gollini; Hendrie (Rudge), Fornasier, Blackett, James; Weir, Ekangamene (Grimshaw), Pearson, Daehli; Januzaj; Barmby (Wilson)
Attendance- 4,800 Man of the Match- James Wilson