Low key appearance for Chhetri against Manchester United

New Delhi: Indian striker Sunil Chhetri made a low-key 21-minute appearance in the second half in Kansas City Wizard`s surprise 2-1 win over English Premier League giants Manchester United in an international friendly in Kansas City, United States.

Chhetri, who is yet to make his Major League Soccer debut, came in for Teal Bunbury in the 69th minute and had a couple of shots which however did not trouble Manchester United goalkeeper Benjamin Amos at the newly remodeled Arrowhead Stadium.

He was lively throughout his outing as he kept running and tried to pile pressure on the Manchester United defence in an open and free-flowing game that was played at a breakneck pace in front of more than 50,000 spectators last night.

Chhetri did not get adequate supply from his team-mates as he was kept as the lone striker after his side was down to 10 men in the whole of second half after Jimmy Conrad was sent off for a foul on Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov in the 41st minute.

One of his two shots at goal was two minutes after taking field from around 35 meters but Manchester United keeper Amos easily collected it.

Chhetri was making his second appearance with the KC Wizards first team since joining the club in late March. He made his KC Wizards debut on April 13 when he played the first 45 minutes against Colorado Rapids in a Lamar Hunt US Open match.

Davy Arnaud gave KC Wizards a surprise lead in the 11th minute before Berbatov equalised in the 41st minute via a penalty kick after defender Conrad brought down the Manchester United striker inside the area.

Conrad was sent off by referee Terry Vaughn for the challenge and the Wizards had to play with 10 men for the remaining period.

Despite the one-man disadvantage, KC Wizards took the lead again a minute later under controversial circumstances.

KC Wizards striker Kei Kamara nodded in a Ryan Smith corner kick and referee awarded a goal though replays showed the ball may not have completely crossed the line after hitting the crossbar.

Besides Berbatov, other players from the Manchester United regular first eleven who took the field included Nani, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

Chhetri was the second Indian footballer -- after Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia -- to play against Manchester United, one of the most popular and richest football clubs in the world.

Bhutia played against the Red Devils in 2001 when he was with English Championship side FC Bury.

The Red Devils have already played two matches in their pre-season North American tour. They beat Scottish club Celtic FC 3-1 in Toronto in their first match before defeating Philadelphia Union 1-0.


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