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Friday, July 27, 2012

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Sudden impact: Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa scores a goal against Shanghai Shenhua in a preseason match in China on Wednesday night. Man United won 1-0. AFP-JIJI

Kagawa stars in Man United victory


SHANGHAI — New signing Shinji Kagawa scored his first goal for Manchester United and put in a man-of-the-match performance in a 1-0 friendly win Wednesday against a Shanghai Shenhua side missing Didier Drogba.

The attacking midfielder, who signed from Borussia Dortmund in a £17 million ($26 million) deal last month, forced the ball home from 10 meters out in the 68th minute following a Bebe cross.

"Kagawa was man of the match and I thought he deserved that," said United manager Alex Ferguson, adding: "He took his goal well even though it was a deflection.

"Kagawa has settled in really well, he's going to be a really good player for us and I was really impressed with him tonight."

United is interested in Brazil international Lucas Moura and Ferguson confirmed he had not given up strengthening his squad.

"We have been trying all summer to add to our squad, we've got Kagawa and (Nick) Powell, we are working on one or two other things, but I have nothing to tell you in terms of confirmation whether any other players are joining us in this moment in time, but we are trying to add to our squad," he said.

Former Cerezo Osaka player Kagawa ran the show for United and came close to scoring in the 61st minute with a powerful low drive from just outside the box which Shenhua reserve keeper Qiu Shenjiong did well to save.

Rio Ferdinand, speaking after the match, also praised his new teammate.

"He's a very intelligent football player who gets into very good positions and asks questions of his opponents. He's a very good acquisition for Manchester United," he said.

In the first half, an under-strength Shanghai side lacking new man Drogba and Nicolas Anelka held its own and should have scored in the 43rd minute.

Midfielder Wang Shouting broke through the middle to put a ball over the top of Ferdinand, leaving Shenhua striker Joel Griffiths one-on-one with Anders Lindegaard.

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