Manchester City defeated Club America 2-1 in Houston when Kevin de Bruyne scored twice.© AFP
Kevin De Bruyne’s double attack was enough to help Manchester City beat Club America 2-1 in Houston on Wednesday, when Pep Guardiola kept Erling Haaland waiting for his debut. The Belgium international’s superbly captured braces settled a feisty showdown at NRG Stadium, but City’s new $61 million striker could only watch from the bench as the Premier League champions kicked off their two-match American tour with a win. This was Guardiola’s first pre-season game as Club America are three games into their Liga MX campaign and it was evident from the fact that the Mexican side was organized and lively early on.
Haaland may have waited in the wings, but fellow new striker Julian Alvarez, the Argentina international signed from River Plate, made his first start for City.
He was substituted after 70 rather ineffective minutes of a game that threatened to overflow midway through the first half when both sets of players had to be separated after Jack Grealish got involved in a push match with keeper Guillermo Ochoa.
The bad feeling towards the City midfielder spread into the second half with America fans booing him for every touch.
Both players were cautioned and at 30 minutes Ochoa was left helpless as De Bruyne curled in an unstoppable effort from just outside the penalty area.
The Mexican international was substituted shortly afterwards and his replacement was nearly beaten by a hard hit Joao Cancelo attempt, but as the clock ticked towards half time City was undone by a long ball forward and Henry Martin saw off Ake’s challenge before rolling home.
However, the unstoppable De Bruyne regained the lead when fed by Riyad Mahrez and finished clinical just before half-time for his second of the evening.
New signing Kalvin Phillips, the England international midfielder who signed for $54 million from Leeds, emerged as a center back after the break as Haaland looked on with Saturday’s game against Bayern Munich at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, the next chance to take his first minutes under Guardiola after his move from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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