United suffered a first defeat of the North America tour in Kansas City, albeit with major doubts over the legitimacy of Kei Kamara’s winner for the Wizards.
Kamara had earlier set up his captain Davy Arnaud to fire the home side ahead, before Dimitar Berbatov’s penalty - following another debatable decision by referee Terry Vaughn who controversially sent off Jimmy Conrad for his part in the incident - drew the Reds level. Kamara then headed Ryan Smith’s corner past young United goalkeeper Ben Amos, but even TV replays were inconclusive as to whether the whole ball crossed the line.
The 2-1 victory for Kansas City Wizards delighted large sections of the 52,000 crowd at the impressive Arrowhead Stadium, home of the local American football outfit, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sir Alex Ferguson opted to field a relatively young side, including the likes of Ben Amos, Ritchie De Laet and Mame Biram Diouf, but ensured there was a sprinkling of experience with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov all starting. Nani made his first appearance of the tour having recovered from the collarbone injury which kept him out of the World Cup.
The Portuguese winger was involved in United’s first real attack on 10 minutes. After his free-kick was blocked the ball fell to Scholes who fired a typically well-struck effort goalwards which was well saved by Jimmy Nielsen down to his right.
The Wizards, who had started the brighter of the two sides, sprung a shock a minute later when they took the lead. Kei Kamara threaded a lovely ball into captain Davy Arnaud’s path and the midfielder finished with aplomb into the bottom corner.