Manchester City began their preseason practises in Houston, Texas, with a 2-1 victory over Club América.
Kevin De Bruyne was at his mesmerising best, hitting two brilliant right-footed goals in the first half. His first-half goals came between Henry Martin’s equaliser for Club América in the 43rd minute.
City will play Bayern Munich in their second and final preseason friendly before returning to England in a few days.
Story of the match
Although there was a quality disparity between the two teams, Club América had the opening chance of the game after only two minutes, forcing Ortega into a nice save at the back post.
Early on, City were enjoying delight down their left side, and we saw hints of a smooth combination developing between Grealish and Silva.
In the early exchanges, the former was having the most fun on the ball, weaving in and out of challenges and driving City into some hazardous places. One of his free kicks resulted in the Blues’ first shot of the game, which De Bruyne placed into the wall.
After a lethargic 30 minutes – maybe typical of a pre-season friendly – De Bruyne ignited the game.
Grealish advanced the ball and found De Bruyne in the centre, who rode one challenge, tapped the ball away from another, and curled the ball into the far right corner with ease.
City were gradually finding their stride towards the conclusion of the first half, and Cancelo was inches from extending the advantage when he shot from the edge of box.
Minutes later, though, Club América equalised, with Henry Martin twisting and spinning inside the area before slotting the ball between Ortega’s legs.
It didn’t take long for City to retaliate, as it was De Bruyne who grabbed onto Mahrez’s pass in behind the backline to score his second.
Guardiola, as predicted, made a slew of changes at halftime, bringing in Cole Palmer, Josh Wilson-Esbrand, and Kalvin Phillips, the latter making his City debut at center-back.
Grealish was given a fantastic opportunity after a defensive mix-up, but his strike was superbly saved by the Club América goalie.
The England international was persistent all evening and almost set-up De Bruyne for his hat-trick in the 55th minute, but the Belgian’s effort was – again – saved low to the ‘keepers right.
From then on, the game rather petered out, with City keeping dominant possession to ensure their first victory of the 2022/23 campaign.