Manuel Pellegrini’s first game in charge of Manchester City ended in defeat as Supersport United recorded a 2-0 shock win over the Premier League outfit in Pretoria.
City created chance after chance in an entertaining first half, but the hosts struck shortly after the interval through Mame Niang.
Kermit Erasmus added a late second to secure victory in the opening game of the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational.
Pellegrini put out a strong squad at the start, which included Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, new singing Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko. But the big names couldn’t prevent Niang putting the South African team ahead.
Both teams started brightly and could have scored inside the first five minutes. Edin Dzeko went close for the Blues and Joe Hart made a brave stop at the other end to keep the game goalless.
Aleksandar Kolarov threatened on numerous occasions and a neat interchange with Dzeko saw him fire inches wide after 16 minutes.
Supersport continued to give the visitors a hard time and nearly went ahead, but a Kompany clearance of the line denied them.
The Belgium defender then rescued his team again, with a superb tackle after a fantastic move by the hosts almost brought the opening goal moments before the break.
Pellegrini changed the entire starting eleven at half time. Bringing on Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair, James Milner and Yaya Toure.
The mixture of youth and experience didn’t go as planned and City found themselves behind after the re-start when Niang thumped home a header from close range.
It got worse for Pellegrini’s men as Kermit Erasmus skipped past the Blues defence and sealed the victory on 82 minutes with a low shot that gave Pantilimon no chance.
The visitors couldn’t come back and the disappointing second half ended with the home side deservedly winning 2-0.
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