Edin Dzeko scored a 21st-minute winner to send Manchester City into the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy, following a 1-0 win over host side South China at the Hong Kong stadium.
New manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrated his first victory since taking charge, and they will now face Sunderland in the final on Saturday after the Black Cats beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 earlier today.
Having dominated the early periods of the first half, City grabbed what proved to be the decisive breakthrough after some excellent work from man-of-the-match James Milner down the right-hand side.
He then sat a lovely cross up to the far post, leaving Dzeko with a simple free header to condemn the local first division champions to defeat.
Play had been in doubt because of a heavy downpour of rain prior to the opening game, however kick off was only delayed for half an hour and the halves were cut down to 40 minutes each way due to the state of the pitch.
The weather hardly dampened the spirits of the spectators though, as they were treated to two fairly entertaining games in the sixth edition of this event, and the third time it has been held in Hong Kong following its success in 2007 and the last tournament in 2011.
Earlier, Tottenham - minus Gareth Bale - had drawn first blood as Gylfi Sigurdsson's deflected effort put them in front. However, new signings Cabral and David Moberg Karlsson sandwiched man-of-the-match Wes Brown's header to give Paolo Di Canio's side a comfortable victory and seal their place in the final.
The tournament will conclude on Saturday with 2009 winners Spurs taking on South China in the 3rd/4th place play-off, before City and Sunderland go head-to-head for the trophy.
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