July 23, 2013
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
For the second time this preseason, Manchester United has lost.
This time, the Red Devils fell to Yokohama F-Marinos, 3-2, behind goals from Marquinhos, Fabio Aguiar and Yoshihito Fujita.
Manchester United also lost to the Singha All Star XI, 1-0, on July 13.
It was Yokohama F-Marinos that got the scoring started, and just 30 seconds into the game, at that.
David de Gea initially made a save after Yokohama pressed forward, but the ball was sent skybound and fortuitously found the boot of Marquinhos, who calmly slotted home the game's first tally.
Yokohama wouldn't let up, as both Shingo Hyodo and Shunsuke Nakamura would nearly double the underdog's lead in the first 15 minutes.
But it would be United that got the next goal off a wonderful effort from youngster Wilfried Zaha in the 19th minute. The winger made an excellent run down the right side, beating a defender in the box and slinging a low centering feed that was blocked.
It took a lucky bounce to Jesse Lingard, however, who easily equalized.
United took the lead in the 31st minute, with a little help from Masakazu Tashiro. Adnan Januzaj whipped in a free kick that the keeper whiffed on, and the ball fell to Tashiro. The defender stuck his leg out but deflected the ball in the wrong direction, scoring the own-goal.
It was an unjust moment for a Yokohama side that had played quite well in the first half.
But the underdogs would strike immediately in the second half, as Aguiar would leap above the United defense on a corner and head home the equalizer. It was not the start to the second 45 that the Red Devils wanted.
Yokohama had another trick up its sleeve with just 10 minutes remaining. After Jin Hanato dazzled his way into the box with some fancy footwork, he found Yoshihito Fujita at the top of the box, and Fujita easily passed the ball past a sprawling de Gea to give Yokohama the winner.
You can practically hear the shouts for David Moyes' head already coming from Manchester. After a mediocre start to the preseason slate and a quiet transfer window thus far, the new man is hardly making anyone forget about Sir Alex Ferguson.
Obviously it's far too early to judge Moyes, but he certainly hasn't quelled any fears about his capability to replace a legend, either.
Man of the Match: Yokohama's Attackers
Marquinhos got things started early, while Fujita came on in the second half and got the winner. Yokohama's forwards consistently pressured a back line for United that never quite seemed comfortable playing together, capitalizing on that fact three times. A nice performance for Yokohama's strikers.
Manchester United Grades
David de Gea
Fabio da Silva
Robin van Persie
Manchester United will continue its preseason tour of Asia when it next faces Cerezo Osaka on July 26 and Kitchee FC on July 29.
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