Friday, July 24, 2009

Red Devils Asia Tour 09

Date: 18th July 2009
Venue: Bukit Jalil National Stadium

This is my second time watching an United game. The first was about 8 years ago, when they toured Malaysia with David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Veron and Fabien Barthez. Those players have long been gone. The current United team has a blend of young talented players such as Anderson, Macheda, Jonny Evans, da silva brothers led by the more experienced players in Giggs, Scholes and Gary Neville.

Fergie brought a strong first team to Malaysia, with new boy Michael Owen joining amongst the ranks. The notable absentees for this tour were Nemanja Vidic, Park Ji Sung (I've so wanted to see him), Owen Hargreaves, Rafael da Silva, and new boys Antonio Valencia and Obertan. All of whom were injured except for Valencia who had to sort out some visa problems back in his hometown.

It was a real pity to miss out on the action of Ronaldo and Tevez who have moved on from the club. Nevertheless, it was still a great experience! Great match, great atmosphere and it was just simply great being able to see the United players up-close and live!

The final score of the day; Manchester United 3 Malaysia 2. Even though the Malaysian team lost, it was a good performance from the lads! The day went to Malaysian two goals heroes Amri Yahyah.

This one is for the Red Devils fans! Enjoy guys and girls!

Anyone fancy having his/her face painted?

An artist painting the face of a fanatic supporter outside the stadium.

A sea of red as the fans flocked to the stadium to watch the game.

Green turnstile/gate, one of the entrance for RM98 tickets.

Photo session before start of the game. (from left) Me, William, Choon Foong, Khee Fatt, Chui Hui and some other friends.

(first row from right) Chun hui, Khee Fatt, Choon Fong, William, Me, Alvin, Melvin.
(second row from right) Kah Weng's bro, Teoh, Shih Keat, Jan Lynn and Kah Weng.

Darren Fletcher = Priceless!!! ; Giggs with 11 premiership medals! YEAHHHH!!!!

Players running out for some warm-up before the match.

Jokes and games as the players went through their warm-up trainings.

(from left) Ferdinand's passing; Macheda and Nani striking the ball.

Anderson's strike went over the goal posts as Rooney, Nani and Macheda watched on.

Some of the first team name-list flashed across the electronic screen.

Rio Ferdinand the captain as Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs was on the bench. The teamsheet for the match: (from right) Edwin van der Sar, Jonny Evans, O'Shea, Rooney, Gibson, Ferdinand, Anderson, Berbatov Scholes, Evra and Nani.

Look at all the VIPs coming to shake the hands of the United players! David Gill was spotted among the VIPs. Ferdinand with a big smile as Berbatov was sharing some sort of joke with Rooney (Out of the picture).

Hi-5, the United way!

The sea of red filled the 100, 000 capacity stadium.

Berbatov heading the ball towards the goal. That was about the few actions Berbatov had in front of goal.

Van der Sar kicked the ball way too high! Look at his facial expression, must have used up a lot of power.

Nani stopping the ball and showing some skills with his footwork.

Nani helping himself with some cooling water; it was a very hot and humid day.

Brilliant play by Rooney and Nani that led to one of the United goal.

Mexican Wave goes round the stadium!

Acrobatic scissors kick from Nani...but he totally miskicked the ball.

The dejected look on van der Sar's face as Amri scored Malaysia's first goal with a brilliant lob.

Berbatov first and only shot of the game...which didn't even went pass the defenders.

Evra was his usual self, full of running on the left flank of the pitch.

Ben Foster replacing van der Sar for the second half. A blunder from Foster, as he let Amri robbed the ball and rounded him to score the second goal for Malaysia. With that, the host drew level with United at 2 - 2.

Wes Brown back from injury and had a lengthy run on the pitch for the second half.

Michael Owen, United's new no.7! Owen was introduced as a second half substitute, and went on to score a predatory goal against the Malaysian team.

Some bench activities from the players as the match was going on.

The complete United traveling fans for the day!

Me and Chun Hui with the pitch as our backdrop.

Look at this human traffic jam exiting the stadium compound. Thank god the bridge did not collapse!

The McDonald's at Endah Parade was packed with the Red Armies.

And this concludes the pictorial for match day 1.

Date: 20th July 2009

Same venue, same oppositions but different day and different scores. Me and my United fanatic fans were back in Bukit Jalil again for the second match in three days. United's match in Jakarta was canceled due to the bombing in the hotel United's staffs and players were supposed to stay-in. That prompted the club to have a second match with the Malaysian team on such short notice.

About 30,000 fans turned up for the second match. Not the best of crowd but it was certainly creditable considering they only have less than 2 days to sell the tickets for this match.

The lads that turned out for the second game! I consider us Red Devils fanatic!!! lolz!

Malaysian supporters donning the Harimau gears!

The banner says it all! Manchester United!!!

Nice red and white wig, mate!!!

Foster and Kuszczak playing ball catching. "Alright, I've got the ball, I shall start today's match!"

Rooney showing some good close control and skills with the ball. Look at the concentration on Rooney's face.

The team list for the match.

Giggs the playmaker, starting another attack for United.

Tosic was impressive on the left wings. The young wing wizard has a lot to prove to the fans and he did fine on this outing, showing some pace, good step-overs and skills with his left foot.

Macheda was the first on the scoresheet, followed by his striking partner Owen. It was 2-0 inside 13 minutes and that was the score till the final whistle.

Fletcher spotted the run of Owen, and launched a pass towards our new number 7.

End of the game and jersey exchange time, mates!

The final score; Red Devils 2 - Harimau 0.

Van der sar was not involved in this game. But he did make an appearance at the end of the game, stretching his long legs muscles with the goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele.

Second United game in three days? Who would have thought about this for us, the United fans based in Malaysia. It was like a dream come true! Rooney, van der Sar, Ferdinand, Owen, Scholes, Giggs, and I got to shoot them with the telephoto lens! Great collection for myself! Till next time, when I travel to Manchester for the real United game inside the Theatre of Dream. Meanwhile, the dream lives on...

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