DENVER (SportingAlert) — Wayne Rooney scored twice and Manchester United held on for a 3-2 win over Roma in their International Champions Cup opener at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on Saturday.
Roma were the better team for the first 30-minutes of the contest, but a wonder strike by Rooney in the 36th minute changed the flow of the game, as the English Premier League side grew in confidence.
Three minutes after scoring, Rooney then turned provider for Juan Mata, who cleverly took down a pass before slotting over the head of the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Rooney then grabbed Manchester United’s third goal and his second of the game from the penalty just before the half-time break after Danny Welbeck was brought down inside the area.
Manager Louis van Gaal then made some nine changes to start the second half.
Roma scored twice in the second half, with Miralem Pjanic scoring a clever goal from about 50-yards out after goalkeeper Ben Amos strayed too far outside his area.
Veteran forward Francesco Totti netted Roma’s second from the penalty spot, this was after Manchester United defender Michael Keane was called for a hand ball inside the area.
Van Gaal was pleased with the win, but believes Man United’s meltdown in the second half was due to the weather.
“I am pleased that we have won but it was not a good performance,” the Dutchman said on www.manutd.com. “54,000 people came to watch us but we can perform much better.
“We are not used to this hot weather. I think we didn’t play a good match because of the height of the stadium, the air, because all my good passers failed today.
“I said when the World Cup was here in ‘94 it wasn’t wise to play here at noon. America has a top sports climate but you have to play football at the right time.
“When you are 3-0 ahead, the only thing you have to do is keep the ball in possession and then the opponent has to run and run and run. It’s very difficult in this hot weather to do that.
The referee took two water breaks during the game due to the hot temperatures in Denver.