Manchester City

Man City 2-1 Club America: Kevin De Bruyne nets fine brace in opening pre-season win

Krishan Davis
Kevin De Bruyne (left) starred in Houston
Kevin De Bruyne (left) starred in Houston / Logan Riely/GettyImages

Manchester City got their pre-season preparations underway with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Mexican side Club America in Houston on Wednesday night, with talisman Kevin De Bruyne netting a brace.

City manager Pep Guardiola fielded a strong initial lineup, handing debuts to goalkeeper Stefan Ortega and striker Julian Alvarez.

The new stopper was called into action inside three minutes, making a strange late save to deny left-back Luis Fuentes' looping header.

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There were very few clear-cut chances before De Bruyne opened the scoring on the half-hour mark. The Belgian broke through two challenges and bent a wonderful strike into the corner from the edge of the box.

However, the Aguilas were level shortly before the break as striker Henry Martin latched on to a pass over the top before doing well to elude Nathan Ake and beat Ortega by slipping a finish between his legs.

The Mexican side were unable to go in level at the break, though, as De Bruyne struck again. Moments after Jack Grealish had a big penalty appeal waved away having been tripped in the box, the City goalscorer ran onto Riyad Mahrez's excellent pass from the right flank and stroked his own finish between the keeper's legs to double up.

Guardiola made a number of changes at half-time, including giving a debut to midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

Grealish spurned a glorious opportunity to double the lead five minutes into the second period as a one-handed save from substitute goalkeeper Oscar Francisco Jimenez denied him when in on goal. De Bruyne then tried his luck again from the edge of the box but found the keeper in his way.

Club America struggled to create anything in their search for an equaliser and it ended 2-1 in Texas. Up next for City is a friendly clash with Bayern Munich in Wisconsin.