In what is definitely the most surprising result of all of the friendlies this summer, the Kansas City Wizards knocked off Manchester United 2-1 in front of 52,424 fans at the newly-renovated Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
With the preface that Manchester United wasn’t playing with a number of their best players, Kansas City put a win in the books that no one could have possibly expected. Up to this point in the MLS season, the Wizards sit in fifth in the Eastern Conference and 12th overall with a record of 4-8-4. Manchester United is the most valuable sports brand in the world and will be playing in the UEFA Champions League next season after finishing second in the Premiership.
Throughout much of the first half, Kansas City looked like the better side, and actually outshot the Red Devils 10-4.
The opening goal of the match came early for Kansas City. Kei Kamara fed Davy Arnaud on a breakaway in the 11th minute. Arnaud, who has been an integral part of the Wizards since 2002, broke towards the right post, and buried the shot into the left side of the goal.
Dimitar Berbatov tied the game in the 40th minute. Ryan Giggs freed the Bulgarian on a run down the middle of the field, and Jimmy Conrad made a diving attempt for the ball in the penalty area, earning a red card and a Manchester United penalty kick. Berbatov finished the kick calmly in the right side.
K.C. would show unexpected resolve after going down a man to one of the world’s top soccer powers. On a corner kick in the 42nd minute, Ryan Smith found Kei Kamara for a header to put the Wizards up 2-1.
Manchester United was certainly the better side in the second half, but just couldn’t manage to get the equalizer into the back of the net. Danny Welback’s entrance into the game late provided some of the best opportunities all match. The 19-year old missed a shot in front of the net and a minute later saw his perfect service for a Frederico Mecheda diving header get saved.
Man U will now head to Houston to face the MLS All-Star team on Wednesday. Kansas City will resume MLS play next weekend against Toronto F.C.