Debutant Adebayor fires blank
PRETORIA:Emmanuel Adebayor failed to score on his debut as Manchester City fell 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge final on Saturday.
The £25 million signing from Arsenal came closest early in the second half at Loftus Versfeld when he pounced on a clearance and rounded a defender only to fire over. Other new strikers Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz were not used by City while ex-Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry was the only player from the big-spending English Premiership outfit to have a first-half shot on target.
Chiefs won a lively match through a 42nd-minute goal from defender Jeffrey Ntuka with some City players claiming he controlled the ball with a hand before firing home. City manager Mark Hughes gave starting places to goalkeeper Shay Given and defender-cum-captain Richard Dunne for the first time on the eight-day tour to the 2010 FIFA World Cup host nation.
Republic of Ireland international Given was hardly troubled before Ntuka struck while Dunne was substituted by Pablo Zabaleta after 37 minutes. The first half looked set to end goalless until Chiefs went ahead after Given dived low to his left and pushed away a Nkosinathi Nhleko shot at the expense of a corner. City failed to clear the
third corner forced by
the South Africans and
the ball took a deflection off a head to Ntuka lurking at the far post and he drove the ball into the opposite corner of the net.
After forcing their only corner of the half a minute before the break, City substitute Ben Haim headed wide while Togolese Adebayor committed a stoppage-time foul when he battled for possession in the goalmouth. In the second half it took City just two minutes to force a corner as they sought an equaliser and Adebayor should have done better on 55 minutes than blazing over from an acute angle when a rebound fell into his path.