Posted on July 19, 2012 00:06
Manchester United defeated Amazulu 1-0 at the Moses Madiba Stadium on Wednesday night in a pre-season friendly in honour of Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday.
United started the stronger of the two sides and were soon in front after 20 minutes when Federico Macheda buried his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
AmaZulu settled after the goal and looked to get back into the tie although it was the English giants who looked the most threatening from the off.
Macheda had a chance as early as the first minute as he forced Tapuwa Kapini into a low save and with Javier Hernandez lurking AmaZulu were lucky to survive the scare. Marc van Heerden then did well to get back to cut out another United attack that released Jesse Lingard down the right hand side.
Van Heerden was called into action again moments later as he slid in to clear the ball as Macheda was just about to shoot.
Carlington Nyadombo was the next to save AmaZulu from going a goal down as he tracked a Macheda run down the left flank before making a vital block.
Goodman Dlamini wasted AmaZulu's best chance in the first half as he smashed a shot over the target, this after being set up by a great low cross from the right hand side from Tsweu Mokoro.
And that miss was to prove costly as Macheda finished off a good move that saw Berbatov set the Italian striker through on goal, and despite Bukasa Kasonga doing his utmost to keep the ball out of the net he could not stop it from crossing the line.
Dlamini then did experlty to fire a shot goalward on the turn but Lindegaard did well to get down to his right to tip the ball around the post.
Determined to get on the scoresheet, Dlamini tried his luck from distance minutes later but he pulled his shot just wide of the post.
Dimitar Berbatov, who impressed throughout the match, was next to have a go as he smashed a set-piece goalward that was deflected out for a corner, but the Bulgarian came even closer with a sublime volley that was expertly saved by Kapini.
AmaZulu were lucky to survive a scare at the start of the second half as first Kapini tipped away a dangerous cross from the left before Van Heerden saved off the line from Berbatov.
United stopper Anders Lindegaard then made a super save to deny Dlamini from the left hand side before the keeper was again well placed to deny the burly striker as he forced his way to the goalline before unleashing a shot.
AmaZulu should have won a penalty on the hour mark after some super play, with Dlamini brought down by Tyler Blackett, but the play had already been brought back for an offside decision.
Substitute goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela had to be alert to deny Chicharito from close range - while with the match winding down Josef Lekata should have done better with a header from Van Heeden's cross - after Lindegaard got down well to deny a Dlamini header after a well worked short corner.
Van Heerden hit a freekick just wide of the target as AmaZulu finished the stronger of the two sides although they were lucky to suriive a late United attack as Davide Petrucci rifled a shot against the AmaZulu cross bar.