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article imageSoccer: Red Devils begin South Africa tour on positive note

By Kev Hedges     Jul 19, 2012 in Sports
Durban - Sir Alex Ferguson and a small number of his Manchester United squad sang Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela on a warm Tuesday evening before kicking-off their soccer tour in South Africa with a 1-0 win over Amazulu.
Sir Alex selected a strong line-up to face the Durban-based side, which proved to be a handful for last season's Premiership runners-up.
There was the usual carnival atmosphere in the stadium with vuvuzelas and a vibrant celebratory crowd bursting into song throughout with occasional rounds of well-wishing for the 94-year-old famous statesman. United saw the first real chance on goal go begging when Macheda was put clean through before delivering a crisp ball for Chicharito to score, when the Mexican fluffed his lines and shot wide.
Amazulu almost scored on the counter when Dlamini caught United's defence napping, only to shoot wide when it would have been easier to score. That miss was punished a minute later when Macheda netted for the tourists with a lung-busting run from midfield, slotting easily past Kapini's flailing arms in the Amazulu goal on 20 minutes.
Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson
Austin Osuide
Apart from some fine efforts from the want-away striker Berbatov, United were restricted to very few efforts thanks to a resilient Amazulu defence. Meanwhile Berbatov's former club Tottenham were in action in Hertfordshire for AVB's first game in charge since the north London club dismissed Harry Redknapp in June.
Spurs were facing Stevenage, who they played in an FA Cup 5th round tie in March; a game that Gary Smith's League One outfit forced into a White Hart Lane replay. New signing Gylfi Sigurdsson scored on his debut in Wednesday evening's friendly, after Villas-Boas brought the attacking midfielder on at half time. Another new-signing, Iago Falqué, who AVB brought in from Juventus, made it 2-0. Man-of-the-match was 18-year-old Harry Kane, up-front for Spurs who proved to be a real thorn in the Stevenage defence all evening. Could he possibly be a future consideration for Hodgson to replace the ailing international performances of Rooney? Only time will tell.
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