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City Hit The Right Note Against Kaizer Chiefs



Stephen Ireland hit the winner in first-half stoppage time to give City their first win of the Vodacom Challenge against Kaizer Chiefs at the Absa Stadium in Durban.

A rapid counter attack by City saw Etuhu storm down the left, crossing to Ireland who was rushing in on goal. The self-exiled Ireland international slid the ball past the South African keeper and into the back of the net for his first pre-season goal and a 1-0 victory for Manchester City.

Mark Hughes' side started the game looking the most lively and quickly set about causing trouble behind the Amakhosi's back line, although their efforts went unrewarded as the South African side held firm.

Stephen Ireland had the first real goal opportunity as he beat two defenders before seeing his goal bound effort blocked by Chiefs keeper Sweswe.

Nigel de Jong and summer signing Gareth Barry were at the heart of City's midfield, de Jong engaging in a few crunching tackles which kept the Chiefs largely at bay.

As the first half wore on the Chiefs were seeing a lot more of the ball, although their attacking threat was consigned to long range efforts which were never really going to do any damage.

Just before half-time, City countered from a spell of pressure from Kaizer Chiefs, Kelvin Etuhu broke down the left-hand side, squaring the ball to acting captain Stephen Ireland slotted the ball past Sweswe and gave City a 1-0 lead.

The second-half saw the introduction of Benjani Mwaruwari and Martin Petrov for Felipe Caicedo and Stephen Ireland respectively.

It was Kaizer Chiefs who dictated much of the play after the break, with City content to sit back and invite the South African side forward.

Taylor made a great save to tip the ball round the post in the 49th minute but it was a rare effort from the Amakhosi.

In the 63rd minute Gareth Barry left the pitch following a strong debut for his new club, Javan Vidal who spent last season on loan north of the border with Aberdeen came on as his replacement.

Martin Petrov proved to be City's main attacking threat, the Bulgarian shooting narrowly wide before sending a dangerous cross into the Chiefs box, Wright-Phillips unable to control it with his acrobatic effort.

With 10 minutes to go, Motaung Junior had a perfect opportunity to equalise for the Chiefs.

After some fine footwork from Nengomasha, he laid it off to the Chiefs captain who played the ball through to Motaung, the ineffective striker shooting wide of the post with just the keeper to beat.

In the dying minutes City had a chance to finish the game off, Kelvin Etuhu breaking through on goal, rounding the keeper and shooting high and wide of the target.

Overall it was a big improvement on the Pirates game but the fitness levels of the players are still no-where near the optimum level. A win was all City needed and they got it, roll on Saturday.

Full Time: Kaizer Chiefs 0 Manchester City 1

Goals: Ireland 45'+2

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Mmbooi, Sweswe, Nengomasha, Nahayo, Masenamala, Masango, Ntuka, Nale, Mathebula, Motaung.

Manchester City: Taylor, Zabaleta, McGivern, Mee, Bridge, De Jong, Barry, Wright-Phillips, Etuhu, Ireland, Caicedo.

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The journalist

Writer: Lincolnsmariner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 21 2009

Time: 9:50PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Yep .... I loved Stevie Ireland's trdemark runs from deep which makes him so difficult to mark in the box. He's obviously been giving those hills round Glossop a good pounding and he and Barry looked very comfortable together.
wswilly3
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21/07/2009 21:55:00

Who on earth is Vidal? Hew looked very useful. Mee and McGivern looked good and Viess can obviously play elsewhere than wide, could be the next Messi.
AlanMeadows
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21/07/2009 22:01:00

It wasn't great (although undoubtedly better than Mike Hunt's Italian version), but it was a win nevertheless. On a slightly different note, if Etuhu wanted to cement his place in the squad, he didn't do a umm... shall we say convincing job.
BlueWolfie
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21/07/2009 22:02:00

AM- Quite right, Vidal looked very composed on the ball. Wiess is a class act and could well develop into a world star. McGivern and Mee did pretty well as they were thrown in at the deep end without an experienced CB next to them. Benjani and Caicedo were isolated up front and didnt really have an opportunity to showcase their abilities (apart from being offside!)
eighthsin
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21/07/2009 22:09:00

At last we can say we're at the beginning of a winning run. Long may it continue.
Tudor
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21/07/2009 22:11:00

8th the reason Benjani and Caicedo looked isolated up front was they were so far behind the defenders at times they may have been on a different field. As for Etuhu ......the less said the better.
Doody
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21/07/2009 22:15:00

Yep Tudor and did you see that trophy with all the elephant tusks. It would look great in the Trophy Room at Eastlands and we get it if we extend the run to two!! Happy ivory and silverware hunting
wswilly3
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21/07/2009 22:17:00

Another fairly meaningless preseason friendly, but it did provide us with the chance to say thank you and goodbye to Benjani, Garrido, Caicedo and Etuhu. Thank you and goodbye.
fifthcolumnblue
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22/07/2009 07:47:00

Yep Fifthcolumnblue, I have to entirely agree with you but in saying that it is a mark of the progress we have made in aquiring better players these last one - two years. It is easy to forget this or take it for granted but we are making fantastic progress and now have to translate this to the same progress in matches on the pitch. Hey Let the good times roll.
wswilly3
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22/07/2009 10:16:00

An excellent article and report once again 8th. City have a number of pre season matches, the Glasgow teams, barnsley, maybe Barca and a another game in RSA this saturday, hopefully against the Pirates. Hughes has been playing Benjani as a PR because the lad played in RSA and the fans wanted to see him. The others who played are just getting match fitness and Hughes is also having a look at how his players fair. There are a number of notable players missing, but they have all played games in the off season and Sparky is giving them an extended holiday. It gives us the fans chance to see some of the best of the academy, like Mee and Mcgivern, Vidal and weiss along with Etuhu who has a bit of quality according to FCB. Giving runs out to the Boj, Caicedo who may not be with us for much longer inview of the signing in that department this summer.
Buzz Lightyear
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23/07/2009 05:43:00

 

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