Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dortmund ease past City in opener of Champions Cup

Dortmund ease past City in opener of Champions Cup

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund scores from a penalty kick against Manchester CItyin the first half of their Champions Cup match at Soldier Field on Friday in Chicago, Illinois. AFP

Dortmund ease past City in opener of Champions Cup

Pep Guardiola’s start to his pre-season campaign ended in defeat as Borussia Dortmund captain Mario Gotze’s first half penalty was enough to see off Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 at Soldier Field in Chicago on Friday.

Guardiola was able to call on the likes of new signing Riyad Mahrez and German Leroy Sane, but his otherwise highly inexperienced, young team were unable to get the better of a Dortmund side who have already played one game this summer and looked far sharper in the opening match of this year’s International Champions Cup tournament.

Gotze’s winner came in the 28th minute when American international Christian Pulisic was hauled down in the box allowing the midfielder who famously scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final to beat Claudio Bravo.

Mahrez showed flashes of his quality yet Guardiola will be disappointed about the lack of cutting edge on show.

With the bulk of his Premier League title-winning squad enjoying an extended break after their exertions at the World Cup, it was a vastly inexperienced side sent out by the Spaniard at Soldier Field.

Mahrez, a $75 million signing from Leicester, made his debut, while precocious young English midfielder Phil Foden also started.

There was a healthy crowd of 34,629 inside Soldier Field, and although a young City side held their own early on, Dortmund created the better chances with Gotze pulling the strings together with Pulisic.

Mahrez was City’s best player, who showcased his attacking threat with a decent run and cross midway through the first half. But on 28 minutes the Germans were ahead.

Alex Zinchenko, who is set to leave the club before the start of the English domestic season, which begins on August 10, brought down the lively Pulisic in the box and Gotze beat Bravo from the spot before Alexander Isak almost made it two soon after.

‘Satisfied’ Guardiola

Jack Harrison should have done better just before the interval when he miscued a shot from close range and then Mahrez forced a great save from Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz. Nevertheless, Guardiola would have been all too aware of his side’s lack of killer instinct.

Jadon Sancho, who quit the Premier League club for Dortmund last August following a falling out with Guardiola, was introduced in the second half and began promisingly.

Joe Hart, the former England keeper, made his first City appearance since August 2016 in the second half, but it was opposite number Hitz who was almost beaten on 55 minutes when another Mahrez set-piece flew just wide.

The Algerian’s cute pass set Lukas Nmecha through on 70 minutes but his finish was lacking, before Hart produced an excellent point blank save to deny Mahmoud Dahoud.

Dortmund then held firm to seal a deserved win.

Guardiola said his team played well despite not having a lot of time to train together.

“It was really good for their futures because we played one of the best teams in Germany and we did many good things,” he said. “The courage, intensity and desire to play was very good. I’m so satisfied.”

German champions Bayern Munich hit three second-half goals as they beat French champs Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 on Saturday in the second of the series of friendlies in Austria.

Eighteen teams are taking part in the 2018 International Champions Cup, with matches being staged in the US, Europe and Singapore.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the

  • Youths band together to clean ‘filthy’ Boeung Trabek canal

    Inspired by their affection for the environment, a desire to have a clean and beautiful city, and wanting to send a message to people to stop littering, a group of some two dozen volunteer youths have taken to picking up trash day and night from