Liverpool held by Malaysia XI

Date published: Friday 24th July 2015 3:47

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Brendan Rodgers named a strong side for the match but some hesitant defending from centre-back pairing Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren allowed the hosts to take the lead through striker Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh.

Ibe scored the equaliser with a powerful left-foot shot just before the half hour mark having cut in from the right. The keeper had little chance as the ball flew into the top corner.

However, despite a number of other opportunities, Liverpool failed to find the net again. Lovren had four presentable opportunities from set-pieces while Divock Origi, James Milner and Adam Lallana might also have scored.

The Malaysian XI had a few chances of their own as the game wore on but were denied by Adam Bogdan as the game ended all square.

Liverpool started the match slowly and struggled for any fluency before Ronaldinho’s clinical finish shocked them into action. The Liberian international collected the ball from a knock down and surged past Lovren before stabbing the ball past Bogdan and into the far corner.

There was almost an instant response from Liverpool after Milner and Henderson combined well before the latter flashed a cross across the face of goal, just out of reach of the onrushing Origi.

The equaliser did come soon after though as Ibe picked up the ball on the right wing, jinked inside past his marker and unleashing a fierce, rising drive that flew into the near top corner.

The winger had the beating of his man all game, going past him on the inside or the outside at will.

Liverpool were unchanged at the start of the second half and Origi had a good chance having been played in by Henderson. His shot was smothered by goalkeeper Khalid though.

A well-worked free-kick saw Henderson hang up an inviting cross for Lovren but he could only head over and the Croat missed another chance from a free-kick shortly afterwards, scuffing his volley into the ground and over after Skrtel’s knock down.

Milner and Lallana both shot straight at the keeper when well placed as the Reds pushed for a second but it was almost the Malaysian XI who retook the lead after Skrtel’s slip let Ronaldinho in.

Lovren got back to avert the danger on that occasion but Alberto Moreno needed to put in a despairing block late on after more confusion at the back for Liverpool while Bogdan was forced to make a smart save in the closing stages.

1-1 it finished though and Liverpool will now return to Merseyside before travelling to Helsinki for their next friendly on August 1.

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