Kuala Lumpur: Rising Liverpool star Jordon Ibe mustered a superb solo effort to equalise against a spirited Malaysia XI side on Friday and salvage a 1-1 draw as the Reds wrapped up an unbeaten Asia summer tour.
The 19-year-old winger, who has impressed during the Asia swing, took on three players before lashing the ball in from just inside the box in the 28th minute.
Liverpool struggled to get into a rhythm throughout the match despite summer signing James Milner and new captain Jordan Henderson pulling the strings to create several chances for the Reds.
But Ibe repeatedly tormented his markers down Liverpoolâs right — he had two penalty claims turned down in the first half — possibly burnishing his chances to replace Raheem Sterling, who joined Manchester City last week.
“He has been outstanding on the tour and I believe he will stake a strong claim to be in the starting 11 when the season begins,” manager Brendan Rodgers said after the match.
“He took his goal very well by using his pace to go past three defenders and it was a wonderful finish.”
“He’s been working hard and will be pushing the others come August.”
The Reds had won their three earlier matches against the Thai All Stars in Bangkok, and in Australia against the Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United.
The Malaysian XI squad started with five foreigners, and one of them — Liberian international striker Patrick Wleh, who goes by his middle name Ronaldinho — shocked the Reds by putting the hosts ahead in the 13th minute.
Wleh capitalised on some shoddy defending to collect a through ball, scoring with a lob over Adam Bogdan.
The scoreless second half saw Liverpool labouring to create chances but with little actual menace.