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July 21, 2012
• Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Ajax Cape Town
And that's full time. Ajax looked to have snatched a late victory after Van Graan directed a corner over Amos and into the far corner, but Bebe ensured that United had a share of the spoils. Exactly four weeks to go to the Premier League season starts, and another valuable 90 minutes under United's belts.
90' + 4'
Into the last minute of injury time we go. Will there be yet another late goal?
90' + 2'
GOAL!!! Vermijl makes a fantastic dash down the right, and pulls the ball across the face of goal to Bebe, of all players, who takes a touch before driving it into the bottom corner.
90' + 1'
Into injury time we go. Lingard taps the ball to Powell, who lets fly, but Roberts gets down well to make a fantastic save to block the youngster's shot.
That was almost suicidal from Amos. The United keeper charges out his box, but is beaten to it by Van Graan, who can only direct the ball into the side-netting despite having an open goal to aim at.
Bebe tries to hang one in to find Berbatov, but it's over-hit and far too close to Roberts.
Down the other end, Berbatov plays a deft touch to Ryan Tunnicliffe, who takes a touch before blasting a feral shot over the bar.
GoalAlcardo van Graan
GOAL!!!! Well, that's astounding. Billiat sends a poor corner towards the near post, and Alcardo van Graan meets the ball, and somehow flicks it over Amos and into the far corner. Ajax are a goal up!!
Cape Town a staging a late siege of the United goal. Billiat bursts through the United defence and forces the ball across the face of goal. It evades everyone in a dangerous position, but Allie bursts onto it, but blasts a shot so far wide that it goes for a throw. Oh dear.
Lingard tries to knock the ball to Powell, but the former Crewe man can't get the ball under control, and it drifts out of play.
We're gradually creeping towards full time here. It's been a little flat in the second half. Kagawa missed United's best opportunity, while Amos made a fantastic save to stop Fanteni putting the hosts a goal up. Will either side get that all important break through?
And Dimitar Berbatov is coming on for Kagawa. One at the end of his United career, the other at the beginning...
A fantastic through ball between two defenders presents Fanteni with great chance. The striker shoots low towards the near post, but Amos dives down to his left and pads the ball behind. Lovely play from Ajax.
Bebe heads away the corner, but Ajax regain possession, cross once more, and this time it's Vermijl to hack the ball clear from danger.
Billiat does brilliantly down the right, leaves Blackett in his wake, and drives a cross in which Carrick is forced to put over for a corner.
So, there's less that 20 minutes left in this tie as United step up their preparations for next season. Can Ferguson's side sneak a winner? Can Ajax pull off a shock victory against their illustrious opponents?
When the corner eventually comes in Bebe himself meets the ball, but nods it wide from a central position.
Bebe wins a corner with a break down the right which is ended by a strong tackle.
We're having a volley of substitutes for Manchester United, amongst them Nick Powell, who is making his first appearance in his new side's colours. It'll be interesting to see how he develops.
So close!! Hernandez chips in a fantastic ball to Kagawa, who is completely unmarked, but heads the ball wide from six yards out. His effort might have shaved the post, but he really should have done better there.
After a lively opening to the second period, we've settled into a bit of a rhythm there. But it's been an interesting encounter for United. Blackett and Wootton have looked good, as had Kagawa.
Carrick concedes a free kick in a threatening position with a clumsy tackle. The resulting set piece is launched in towards Booth, but it's a poor delivery and United regain possession of the ball.
Blackett makes a great run down the left, but Anderson's pass into his path is slightly over-hit and the ball runs out for an Ajax throw in.
There's a game of pinball in the Ajax area, and neither Kagawa nor Hernandez can get a hold of it, and Roberts comes off his line and claims it. Confident goalkeeping from the substitute.
Valencia takes the corner short, and when his cross eventually comes in, Booth rises high and nicks the ball away from Wootton's head.
Valencia, again, gets down the right, but this time his cross is blocked out for a corner.
And again! Valencia, who has been getting into great positions all day motors down the right and puts a threatening ball in which just evades Hernandez's head. United were a whisker away from taking the lead there.
And we're back! Manchester United immediately go on the attack in the second half and Kagawa feeds Hernandez. However, the Mexican slips as he lines up his shot, and fails to threaten the target.
And that's half-time. Both team have been fairly lively, but have only had the briefest flashes of goal-mouth action. Ajax have perhaps had the better of the chances, but 0-0 it remains.
Billiat chips in another free kick towards Booth at the far post, but the ball is well over hit and drifts out of play for a goal kick. Poor, poor delivery.
So close!!! Rusike takes a shot from the edge of the box which clips the top of the bar and goes narrowly over. So close to giving the hosts the lead.
So, with just a few minutes remaining until the break, it's fair so say it's been a tense affair that has seen little in the way of goal-scoring chances. Both teams have looked good in midfield and secure at the back, and this may need a moment of individual brilliance from an attacker to open it up.
That could have been dangerous. Carrick surrenders the ball in midfielder and Ajax break with three men. However, an inopportune slip allows United to get men back, and the hosts are eventually forced to sky a shot from distance. On another day, that could have been fatal.
Great save!! Wootton advances down the right and puts in a lovely cross for Hernandez, who forces a fantastic block from Westerveld with an emphatic header.
The referee rules that Booth fouled Ferdinand in his eagerness to get to Billiat's free kick, and there's a huge anti-climax within the stadium.
Wootton gives away a free kick right on the edge of the area with a clumsy tackle, and Billiat is standing over the ball.
Valencia accelerates down the right, leaving an Ajax defender or two in his wake, and tries to cross towards for Hernandez, only for Booth to come across and clear the danger.
Kagawa plays a brilliant reverse pass into the path of the advancing Valencia, who is called narrowly offside. Great ball from the former Dortmund man, and a flash of his potential.
Well... That didn't go so well. Anderson tries to chip the ball back to Scholes, who was sitting 25 yards from goal, but it didn't sit right for the veteran, and he can only pass to Valencia. There's little danger to the Ajax defence, and they clear the ball with ease eventually.
Valencia and Hernandez combine brilliantly down the right for United, and eventually win a corner.
Another warning sign for United. Ajax make great ground down the left and pull the ball back to Fanteni, who shoots, but see his effort heroically blocked by Blackett. Excellent stop from the young full-back.
Hernandez gathers an over-hit Kagawa pass in the corner, and Ajax manage to get men back and neutralise the danger.
So, we've finally had our first realistic goal-scoring chance of the match, but Billiat failed to hit the back of the net. Hopefully we'll see both sides do a bit more in front of goal and spark this game into life.
What a chance. Ajax hassle Man United in midfield and rush forward at a great pace. Eventually, Billiat takes a left-footed shot from the edge of the box, but drags it just wide. You'd really have to wonder whether Amos had that under control.
This time the visitors manage to find Valencia as Wootton plays a lovely dinked ball over the top, but the United No.7 takes a very heavy touch and it runs out of play for a goal kick.
Manchester United surrender the ball in midfield, and Ajax look to have a break on. However, Dolly is needlessly called offside as they look to release him with a through ball. He really could have timed his run better there...
Blackett makes a crunching tackle just inside the United half to stop the advancing Hlatswayo in his tracks as he bounded down the right.
Once again, United try to release Valencia down the right, but the pass is over-hit and there's very little the winger can do with it. Disappointing to see.
So, it's been a pretty lively start from both teams so far. They look threatening going forward and there's a nice pace to the game. Hopefully we could see some clear cut chances soon.
A poor touch from Scholes almost lands Wootton in a spot of hot water, but he recovers and manages to hook the ball out of play for an Ajax throw in.
Scholes tries to play a trademark angled ball through to Valencia, but it's slightly over-hit and the former Wigan winger can't prevent it from running out for a goal kick.
The referee attracts the ire of the home support as Fanteni is taken down by Ferdinand just outside the area, only to have his appeals for a free kick waved away. United break down the other end, but Hernandez cannot find enough space to have a meaningful effect.
Hernandez makes a great interception in midfield, and United storm down the left. Scholes resists the urge to shoot from distance, and the ball makes its way to Blackett, who crosses, but it's a poor attempt to find a team-mate and it rolls out of play.
And we're off. Ajax Cape Town immediately settle into possession at the back, but then carelessly give away a throw in.
There's a chorus of vuvuzelas within the stadium. I had almost forgotten about them...
The teams are out and we're almost at the off. Will Fergie's boys get a convincing victory against their South African opponents? Can Shinji Kagawa make an impact in his first start for United? You can get in touch with me via Twitter (@eniskoylu) with your predictions. I look forward to hearing from you.
Meanwhile, Ajax Cape Town begin the match with: Westerveld; Hlatswayo, Jenniker, Booth, Allie; Dolly, Losper, Scott; Billiat, Fanteni, Ruskie
The teams are in. Sir Alex has gone for a mixture of youth and experience, fielding: Amos; Vermijl, Wootton, Ferdinand, Blackett; Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, Anderson; Kagawa; Hernandez
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Manchester United's pre-season tie with Ajax Cape Town. Sir Alex Ferguson's men are gearing up for an all-important Premier League campaign, and some morale-boosting victories prior to their opening domestic fixture against Everton on August 18.
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