The Asia Tour 2009 is expected to cover Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and China. However, due to unrest in Jakarta, the Indonesian leg have been canceled and instead Manchester United will play a rematch with the Malaysia XI on Monday evening (20th July).
The first match took place at Bukit Jalil stadium today (18th July) in front of a capacity crowd of 100,000 fans. Malaysia XI led by coach K. Rajagopal put on a superb display and pushed the superstars of Utd right to the end. In the end, Owen on his "debut" for Manchester United scored the winning goal. The match ended 3-2 in favour of the Red Devils.
Sir Alex Ferguson has this to say about Owen and his impact coming off the bench,
The match report can be read at the official Man Utd web site. ESPNStar.com has a very good section on the United-Malaysia match as well.
Sir Alex Ferguson hailed the impact of new signing Michael Owen after he came off the bench to grab the winner for Manchester United in Kuala Lumpur.
Owen struck three minutes from time after Federico Macheda had seen his shot saved.
"It was a typical Michael Owen goal," said Ferguson. "He was the first man to react, which is just what you would expect."
Ferguson revealed he was always likely to leave Owen on the bench to start with but was not in the least bit surprised his new striker found the net immediately.
"I am sure he was looking forward to it," said Ferguson.
"When you consider the type of player Michael is, he was always going to be looking to score that type of goal.
"There was nothing unusual in it and he will be delighted to have got off the mark."
Ferguson confirmed Owen is likely to start Monday's re-arranged game against the same opposition along with Federico Macheda as he tries to ensure all his forwards are fit for the start of the new season.
However, Owen could not have had a better start to his United career after his shock signing for the Red Devils.
And if Ferguson was happy with that, the same could also be said of Wayne Rooney, who scored United's opener in a 3-2 win.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez now departed for pastures new, all eyes will be on Rooney.
''You are seeing maturity from him now, which is what you expect from all young players,'' said Ferguson. ''I don't believe he needs to look at anything but himself because we know there is a lot of improvement to come from him yet.
''Wayne is not the finished article by any means.'' - ESPN Soccernet
Here are some pictures from The Star Online and Associated Press on United's training session and the match itself.
Manchester United's trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is very well covered by two websites. For more comprehensive coverage, I would suggest Manchester United Fan in Malaysia and Soccer Mania.