United’s pre-season preparations continued with an entertaining draw against Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge opener in Cape Town.
Watch highlights of the match on MUTV Online.
Boss Sir Alex Ferguson will have been satisfied by the work-out against an energetic side who are in the middle of their domestic season in South Africa.
Centre-back Jonathan Quartey gave the Chiefs the lead from the penalty spot in the 37th minute, before Chris Eagles converted Carlos Tevez’s cross for the second-half equaliser.
Rio Ferdinand and Mikael Silvestre were late withdrawals for United, but it was nevertheless a strong starting XI, with Ryan Giggs in the centre of midfield, Darren Fletcher on the right and Tevez and Wayne Rooney up front.
The Reds showed some neat touches but created little in the first half, with Paul Scholes’ free-kick – tipped over by Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune – about as good as it got.
The game began in glorious sunshine in Newlands Stadium, despite it being mid-winter in South Africa, and a colourful crowd did their best to create a carnival atmosphere.
The Chiefs’ main attacking threat was an Anderson lookalike, Siphiwe Tshabalala, who almost put his side ahead in the sixth minute, only to see his shot blocked by Gary Neville.
And it was the Chiefs’ pacy left-winger who won the penalty, playing a neat one-two before charging into the box where he was upended by Neville. Quartey sent Tomasz Kuszczak the wrong way from the spot to opening the scoring.
Neville had some joy down the right with his trademark overlapping runs, but United failed to create many clear-cut chances in the opening 45 minutes.