Yanmar Premium Cup
Friday 26 July 2013
Nagai Stadium, Osaka
CEREZO OSAKA 2
(Sugimoto 34, Minamino 63)
MANCHESTER UNITED 2
(Kagawa 54, Zaha 90)
Shinji Kagawa scored and missed a penalty against his former club as Manchester United drew with Cerezo Osaka to share the Yanmar Premium Cup.
Kenyu Sugimoto took advantage of a defensive mistake to put the home side ahead but, moments after his second-half spot-kick was saved, Kagawa slotted home from close range to equalise for United.
Takumi Minamino’s superb long-range drive put Cerezo back ahead in front of 45,000 fans at the Nagai Stadium, but Wilfried Zaha scored his first goal for United at the death to ensure the Reds were not beaten for the second time in four days on tour in Japan.
This was another demanding workout for David Moyes’ men in energy-sapping heat and, despite failing to beat a side riding high in the J-League, the players will have taken big strides in their bid for full fitness ahead of the new season.
Kagawa was given a rapturous reception on his return to his hometown club, where banners were displayed in his name and fans got excited every time he was on the ball.
United, playing in the new away kit for the first time, could have taken the lead inside the first minute as Robin van Persie found himself through on goal, but his right-foot shot hit goalkeeper Kim Jin-Hyeon.
On a pristine pitch, Cerezo’s first chance came in the ninth minute but Anders Lindegaard did well to cling onto a low Jumpei Kusukami strike.
Soon after, van Persie again found himself with only the keeper to beat after being played in by Kagawa, but Kim stood tall to paw the Dutchman’s attempted chip to safety.
Lindegaard was called into action twice in quick succession in the 20th minute, first tipping a low Kusukami drive around his post and then clinging onto a Tomonobu Yokoyama header from the resultant corner.
Two minutes later, Kagawa picked out van Persie on the right of the box and the striker’s first-time cross was headed over by an unmarked Phil Jones from eight yards. That was the signal for a mid-half drinks break, an unusual event but one that served to illustrate how draining the conditions were in sultry Osaka.
Upon the resumption, a lapse in the United defence allowed a pass to reach Sugimoto on the edge of the box, but the forward curled a left-footed shot wide.
And Cerezo continued to threaten the Reds, with Edno spurning their best chance to that point when he headed tamely at Lindegaard from six yards.
So it was not a huge surprise when the home side took the lead in the 34th minute. Chris Smalling’s attempted pass on the edge of the box was intercepted and fell to Sugimoto, who turned Alex Büttner and wrong-footed Lindegaard with a low shot into the corner.
Kagawa missed a glorious opportunity to score five minutes before half-time. Danny Welbeck turned his man on the left of the box and his shot cannoned off the inside of the post. Van Persie picked up the rebound and squared for Kagawa, who scooped the ball over with the goal at his mercy and threw himself to the ground in dismay.
Home keeper Kim continued to impress and palmed away a goal-bound Ryan Giggs curler, before Welbeck drove narrowly wide in the last meaningful action of the half.
Anderson replaced Jones but United did not look likely to break through until Ashley Young was upended as he charged into the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Kagawa stepped forward but fluffed his big moment as Kim diverted his tame penalty. However, the Japanese was not to be denied and, in the 54th minute, slotted home from a narrow angle after being found by Giggs. The home fans chanted Kagawa’s name but it was to be the midfielder’s last contribution as he was replaced by Zaha.
United poured forward after the goal and Zaha flashed wide, but Moyes’ men were stunned again in the 63rd minute as Minamino flashed home an unstoppable dipping drive, reminiscent of Jesse Lingard’s second goal in Sydney.
Adnan Januzaj came on for van Persie but it was the home side who were looking set to extend their lead and Lindegaard was at full stretch to keep out Yusuke Maruhashi.
Another drinks break followed before Moyes made a raft of substitutions, bringing on Lingard, Patrice Evra, Tom Cleverley and Fabio for Young, Büttner, Giggs and Rafael.
And it was another one of the replacements, Zaha, who netted United’s equaliser in injury time, tapping home Anderson’s cross after Januzaj had opened up the home defence.
United: Lindegaard; Rafael (Fabio 79), Smalling, Ferdinand, Büttner (Evra 79); Young (Lingard 79), Jones (Anderson 46), Giggs (Cleverley 79), Kagawa (Zaha 58); Welbeck, van Persie (Januzaj 69).
Cerezo: Kim; Fujimoto, Maruhashi, Sakemoto, Yamashita; Kusukami (Bando 80), Yokoyama, Fabio (Kurogi 64); Edno (Edamura 64), Minamino (Kogure 87), Sugimoto.