Manchester City are a step closer to winning the International Champions Cup after defeating AS Roma 5-4 in penalties last night.
The two sides could not be separated in the see-saw encounter which finished two-all after 90 minutes so penalties were needed to declare a winner. Met with a chorus of boos, 49 million pound (AUD $103 million) man Raheem Sterling took just three minutes to open his account in a Manchester City jersey, it was the first game he played for the club since signing from English rivals Liverpool last week.
It only took five minutes for Roma to reply with Miralem Pjanic smashing home an eighth minute shot into the back of the net from outside the 18-yard box.
Neither side could break the deficit before half-time so Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to introduce superstars such as Joe Hart and Yaya Toure.
A wayward back pass from English defender Ashley Cole paved the way for City’s Kelechi Iheanacho to give the Citizens the lead for the second time after 51 minutes. They managed to hold on to their advantage until the 86th minute when Adem Ljajic spectacularly converted a free-kick to equalise the match and send the game into penalties.
The two-time English Premier League champions were on the back foot when left back Aleksandar Kolarov blasted his penalty over the bar before Hart came to his side’s rescue, saving two and slotting one penalty of his own to help his side to victory.
Over 150,000 people have turned through the gates over the two nights and will culminate when City take on Real Madrid on Friday in front of a sell out crowd to conclude the International Champions Cup. —Joseph Walz
Top photo from Jpellgen’s Flickr photo stream.