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22nd July 2010 - Kick off 00:30

Philadelphia Union Philadelphia Union vs Manchester United Man Utd

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Fergie hails goal hero Gabby

Obertan nets first Red Devils goal in victory over Union

Last Updated: 22/07/10 9:32am

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Obertan: Goal hero

Obertan: Goal hero

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Gabriel Obertan after the French winger scored his first Manchester United goal in the 1-0 win over Philadelphia Union.

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The 21-year-old netted the winner in the 76th minute of the pre-season warm-up at Lincoln Financial Field, slotting home with a neat finish after being played in by teenage striker Danny Welbeck.

It was his first goal in United's colours since joining from Bordeaux last year after his debut season at Old Trafford was marred by injury.

A delighted Ferguson said: "Goals always help players of course, and when they are forwards in particular. There is a goal in Gabby, there is no question of that.

"The best aspect of his goal was his run, the timing of his run and the timing of the pass and the weight of the pass. It made it a really good goal. He has taken it well."

Youth

Ferguson gave youth a chance in the game with the inclusion of Welbeck, Obertan, Jonny Evans, Fabio, Federico Macheda and Tom Cleverley in the starting line-up.

Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes added some experience to proceedings, while Ferguson called on Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher in the second half in a bid to break down a stubborn Union side.

Berbatov almost netted a late second but his effort smacked the underside of the crossbar, but Ferguson was still pleased his side were able to build on their 3-1 victory against Celtic in their opening tour match on Friday.

The United boss added: "You need pre-season games, they are absolutely essential. You need them to get your timing and rhythm and your breathing right.

"It was the sort of game we probably needed. The Union were really powerful and aggressive, got to the ball quickly and made it difficult for us. They had a few shots on goal. They were better than I expected.

Increased tempo

"We increased the tempo in the second half and did a little better then. It was a good game for us. They were very good opponents, I thought they did really well."

It was the Red Devils' first visit to the stadium since 2004 and the match had the feel of a cup tie thanks to an enthusiastic crowd of 44,213.

Ferguson added: "There was a more United atmosphere for us tonight.

"In the six years since we were last here there is more appreciation of the game from the fans in what is happening on the field.

"It is an indication of the progress there is in American football."

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