Jordon Ibe’s first Liverpool goal helped salvage a 1-1 draw against a Malaysia XI at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The winger could be tasked with helping fill the void following Raheem Sterling’s departure and the 19-year-old scored a stunning equaliser to cancel out Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh’s opener as Liverpool ended their tour of Asia and Australia with a draw.
Following three victories on the trip, Liverpool fell behind to Ronaldinho’s impressive opener as the PKNS striker showed quality often associated with his more famous namesake.
The Liberian – an Arsenal supporter – recently returned from a three-month ban for an on-field disagreement with a referee but saw Ibe level with a stunning long-range strike 15 minutes later.
As the Liverpool forward line continued to struggle, Ronaldinho’s lack of match action became apparent when he exited following treatment for cramp after the hour.
Khairul Azhan Khalid’s impressive goalkeeping display helped keep the scores level, with Brendan Rodgers likely hoping for attacking improvements when he eventually bloods recent signings Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino.
The visitors dictated the early tempo but suffered a scare when Nathaniel Clyne was clattered into, sustaining a blow to the jaw.
However, Ronaldinho stunned the Premier League side with a well-taken finish 13 minutes in, as the Liberia striker beat Adam Bogdan with the outside of his right foot.
Rodgers’ side had a penalty appeal turned down when Khalid felled Jordan Henderson following a lofted pass from Adam Lallana.
Liverpool were not behind for long, Ibe cutting inside with a clever shimmy before rifling a strike into the top right-hand corner.
Divock Origi fired straight at Khalid when one-on-one prior to the interval with the Frenchman and Ronaldinho denied by last-ditch tackles early in the second half.
Lallana’s deflected effort off Vincent Bikana clipped the top of the crossbar on the hour, the Malaysian XI seeing their main threat Ronaldinho depart after repeated cramp in his right leg.
Young pair Jordan Rossiter and Sheyi Ojo were among those handed late cameos, but Rodgers’ men failed to find a winner ahead of Saturday’s clash with Finnish champions HJK.
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