Date: 17th July 2007 at 4:59pm
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Manchester United were held to a 2-2 draw in the opening day of our Asian tour. Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds proved to be tough opponents.

Sir Alex kept his promise and fielded his strongest team but new signings Nani and Owen Hargreaves did not get a single minute.

In the first half, United were in control throughout but had very little to show for all their possession. Fletcher on the wing and Giggs up front weren’t effective while Ronaldo and Rooney were denied space.

A sverwing shot, missed completely by Van der Sar, unexpectedly gave the lead to the Japanese side and though Rooney had a great chance to equalise, United were trailing at the interval.

The second half saw the introduction of Evans, Simpson and Silvestre (then Smith and O’Shea) but it was Fletcher who scored the equaliser after good work from Rooney and Carrick. Five minutes later, Ronaldo’s low drive somehow found the net from the edge of the box.

The imagination was still conspicous by its absence in United’s play and a good move by Urawa Reds resulted in an equaliser that was well deserved.

United: Van der Sar – Brown, Ferdinand (Evans), Vidic (Simpson), Evra (Silvestre) – Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick (O’Shea), Ronaldo – Giggs (Smith), Rooney