Played July 21, 2012 6:30 PM IST
Cape Town Stadium — Cape Town | Attendance: 0
The striker pounced on a loose ball in the South African’s side’s area firing the ball past into an empty net after keeper Sander Westerveld and his defenders were beaten by Marnick Vermijl’s accurate cross.
Ajax thought they had won the game in the 87th minute when Alcardo van Graan looped Khama Billiat’s cross over Ben Amos and into the net after he beat his marker inside the six-yard box but the 22-year-old’s strike saved Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from defeat.
Ferguson made several changes from his United team that beat Amazulu 1-0 in their opening pre-season fixture. The Scot handed Shinji Kagawa his full debut for the Red Devils, while Anderson and Antonio Valencia made their first starts of the summer.
Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand and Javier Hernandez, retained their places from the opening game.
The Red Devils struggled for rhythm in the early stages of the match as they often gave the ball away cheaply in the final third of the pitch, with Anderson being particularly wasteful when in an advanced position.
Ajax Cape Town should have taken the lead when Billiat was played behind the United defence and put one-on-one with Ben Amos but he couldn’t find the target firing his left-footed shot wide of the post.
The home side were looking dangerous and Ferguson’s men were grateful to Tyler Blackett who made a great block to deny Thembinkosi Fanteni’s goal-bound effort after the striker had found space inside the area.
United finally carved out an opening in the 34th minute when Wootton raided down the right and hit a sublime cross towards the penalty spot where he found Hernandez who headed the ball towards goal but Westerveld made an excellent save tipping the effort round the post.
Carrick and Scholes were struggling to take control of the midfield with many misplaced passes which often put the visitors on the back. Paul Rusike nearly made them pay for one mistake when the hosts hit them on the counter but his shot from outside the area hit the bar before going over.
United came out in the second half with more impetus and Kagawa, who was anonymous for most of the opening period, came to life and found Hernandez with a lovely through ball but the Mexican slipped at the crucial moment spurning the opportunity.
Valencia was finding space on the right with ease and he used this freedom along with his pace to float a cross towards Hernandez who was unmarked in the area but the ball frustratingly just evaded his head in what would have been a certain goal if he had made contact.