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Israeli Benayoun jeered as Chelsea opens tour in Malaysia

  • AP, Thursday, July 21, 2011 3:12 PM

A controversial goal and the jeering of Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun marked the first game of Chelsea's preseason tour of Asia. Didier Drogba struck a free kick that rebounded off the goalkeeper and post without appearing to cross the goal line, but the goal was given and by that margin Chelsea beat an All-Malaysia XI, 1-0.

Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, supports the Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with Israel. Benayoun was booed and jeered while playing the first half for Chelsea, which fielded many of its regulars during the friendly.

Drogba came on as a sub in the second half. His free kick in the 78th minute was parried onto the post by goalkeeper Mohd Izham Tarmizi and spun behind him against the post, and then onto the goal line without appearing to cross it. Despite protests by the Malaysian players, which are preparing for upcoming Olympic qualifiers, the goal was allowed to count.

Chelsea will also play in Thailand and Hong Kong during its tour.

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