Friday 19 July 2013
Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd said his side enjoyed a good workout as they suffered defeat in their final game before next week's Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong.
City took on South African side AmaZulu in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational in Durban on the birthday of the former South African president. Although there was an improved performance from the display against SuperSport United on Sunday, City suffered their second loss of the summer after conceding a late winner.
"For Manchester City it's a great privilege and honour to be invited to play on Mr Mandela's birthday"
Samir Nasri's early free-kick was well saved before Bongani Ndulula put AmaZulu ahead on 20 minutes when he latched onto Aleksander Kolarov's weak back pass and rounded goalkeeper Joe Hart.
City were on level terms six minutes later, however, when James Milner powered home from Yaya Toure's header.
The visitors could not grab a second despite dominating for large periods and it was Carlington Nyadombo who scored the winner when he converted an 89th-minute penalty.
"It was a very, very good workout again," Kidd, who was in charge after manager Manuel Pellegrini had to return home to Chile for family reasons, told the club's website. "The boys have worked really hard. It was just what we wanted.
"The players are getting fitter now and the senior players got a wee bit extra. The games will definitely bring them on because the work the boss has been doing has been first class. For Manchester City it's a great privilege and honour to be invited to play on Mr Mandela's birthday. I have met him twice and he is a wonderful man. People have been very warm to us and we have been well received. It's been wonderful."
City are next in action on 24 July when they play South China in their opening match of the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy.
A limited number of tickets are still available for semi-finals day and can be bought here.
West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke was satisfied with his side's efforts despite defeat against Hannover 96.
Forward Mame Biram Diouf put the home side ahead on 28 minutes after Valmir Sulejmani took advantage of Ben Foster's underhit pass but Markus Rosenberg, partnering new signing Nicolas Anelka up front, equalised just before half-time from James Morrison's cross.
Hannover claimed the victory with 10 minutes to go when Christian Pander's shot deflected in off Craig Dawson.
"It was a perfect workout," Clarke told the club's website. "We got a good 60 minutes into most of them. Hannover are good but they are a little bit ahead of us in terms of their preparation
"They start on August 10 and that was their eighth game in pre-season, whereas for our boys it was the second - but they only played 45 minutes each in the first game, which was just a training session really.
"Like last pre-season, we don’t look at the result, we look at what we get from the game, and by and large I'm very pleased."
Norwich City striker Luciano Becchio scored his first goal for the club as the Canaries opened their pre-season programme with victory at Raley Field in Sacramento.
Becchio opened the scoring on 65 minutes when he headed home from Robert Snodgrass's cross and the Argentine forward was involved again three minutes later, providing the assist for Anthony Pilkington to claim the second.
Josh Murphy made it three soon afterwards with a superb curling shot that went into the far corner from outside the area.