International club friendly: AIK vs. Manchester United (6:30 p.m. BST; 1:30 p.m. ET)
06 August, 2013
Friends Arena, Stockholm
AIK XI: Stamatoupols, Johnansson, Backman, Milosevic, Kayongo-Mutumba, Borges, Bahoui, Quaison, Ofori, Moro, Igboananike
Manchester United XI: Lindegaard, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Zaha, Anderson, Nani, Van Persie
Second-half goals from Robin Quaison and Angelo Henriquez delivered a 1-1 draw for the more than 32,000 spectators on hand to watch Manchester United take on hosts AIK in Stockholm on Tuesday.
United, who started a strong side in this friendly, began the match well and were benefitting from an especially energetic performance from Nani before the Portugal winger limped off with an injury with only a half-hour gone.
Angelo Henriquez, who spent last season on loan at Wigan, came on as his replacement and would make his presence felt in the second period.
But it was AIK who went into the break on the front-foot, having forced a pair of decent saves out of United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard—Kennedy Igboananike, in particular, coming close to opening the scoring.
The hosts did manage to beat their famous guests to the scoresheet when Quaison’s spectacular strike left substitute goalkeeper Ben Amos with no chance just four minutes after the restart. Played into the clear by Martin Kayongo-Mutumba, who had an exceptional match, the 19-year-old’s powerful, curling effort found the top right-hand corner of the goal from all of 23 yards.
United struggled to come back into the match after falling behind but were eventually pulled back into the contest by Henriquez, who by this time was torturing the AIK defense.
After the Chile international was hauled down by Ibrahim Moro in the 67th minute Michael Carrick’s ball after the subsequent free-kick was blocked found Wilfried Zaha out on the right, and although at least three United players were offside at the moment of the cross Zaha had managed to check his run before placing an accurate pass to Henriquez, who had only to tap the ball into the back of the net for the equalizer.
Both managers rung the changes after that, and perhaps the best chance for a winner came after substitute winger Bebe had crossed accurately to Robin van Persie, who just couldn’t get enough power on his header from in close.
In the end the draw was probably the right result for both sides, although a lack of creativity from the middle will have no doubt driven home United’s need to acquire a playmaking midfielder.