Earthquakes battle Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in friendly

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By Marko Ukalovic

SANTA CLARA — Manchester United’s second stop of their exhibition tour made its way to Santa Clara. Unfortunately for their fans in attendance, they were without some of their superstars, still coming back from the World Cup, and it showed in a lackluster 0-0 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on a warm Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.

Manchester United was without the services of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young. However, they still had Alexis Sanchez, Anders Pereria and Anthony Marital in their starting lineup against the Quakes.

Manchester United looked like they were going to take control of the game early on when Eric Bailey’s header in the fourth minute hit the cross-bar. They also had chances from Martial in the 23rd minute, and just a minute later, Luke Shaw’s one-timer sailed just over the top of the net.

“I was more focused on us”, said Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho when asked what he thought about playing against San Jose. “I think it’s nice for them to play a team like Manchester United. I thank them for that, it was (a) competitive (game).”

The first yellow card of the match went to the Quakes’ Florian Jungwirth, who performed a WWE style clothesline on Sanchez in the 17th minute. Sanchez used to speed to start a counter attack when Jungwirth made sure it didn’t go any further than midfield.

Quakes head coach Mikeal Stahre started the majority of his bench in the first half with Danny Hoesen, Jungwith and Guram Kashia, the Georgian center back, who made his Quakes debut since being acquired by the team last month with the targeted allocation money, as the only regular starters in the lineup to start the game.

Like most friendlies, the second half featured a different lineup substituted in for both teams and that seemed to open the game.

Ander Herrera was in all alone after a nice give-and-go, but his shot was stopped by Quakes goalie Matt Bersano, who came on in the second half replacing JT Marcinkowski, who started the game and made his debut appearance for San Jose.

The best chances for the Quakes came in the 70th and 71st minute of the match. Tommy Thompson sent in a shot that Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant had to jump high in the air to knock it over the net. A minute later after a corner kick, Vako’s shot attempt sailed over the cross-bar.

“For us it was really important to stay really sharp in this and not get smashed,” said Stahre. “Also to create some chances and we did that. I’m a quite a happy coach right now.”

The last chance for the Quakes came off a Yeferson Qunitana header off a corner kick at the 80th minute that deflected off the cross-bar.

GAME NOTES: Two 16-year olds made their debuts for San Jose late in the match. Gilbert Fuentes came into the match at the 86th minute and Jacob Akanyirige came in the 89 minute, respectively.

This was the second meeting between the two clubs. Manchester United defeated the Quakes 3-1 in the International Champions Cup back on July 21, 2015, at Avaya Stadium.

Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia suffered an injury in the first half and was replaced by Matteo Darmain.

The announced attendance was 32,549. There was an estimated 20 to 25 thousand in the actual stands with the majority of them cheering on the Red Devils.

San Jose defender Kevin Partida underwent ACL reconstruction surgery and a partial meniscectomy on his right knee on Thursday after suffering an injury in the July 7 match against the Portland Timbers. He is out for the rest of the season and is expected to be sidelined for nine months.

UP NEXT: The Quakes return to MLS action when they host the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, July 25, at Avaya Stadium at 7:30 pm PDT.

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