Erling Haaland made to wait for Man City debut as De Bruyne double seals win over America

The birthday boy watched from the bench as a brace from the Belgian midfielder secured a 2-1 win in Houston

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Kevin de Bruyne scored both Manchester City goals as the Premier League champions kicked off their North American tour with a victory over Club America in Houston - but new signing Erling Haaland was made to wait for his debut.

De Bruyne's brace settled a feisty clash at NRG Stadium but City's new $61 million striker Haaland — celebrating his 22nd birthday — could only look on from the bench.

Norway international Haaland may have been waiting in the wings but fellow new striker Julian Alvarez, the Argentine international signed from River Plate, made his first start for City, though he was subbed after 70 rather ineffective minutes.

The match threatened to boil over midway through the first half when both sets of players had to be pulled apart after Jack Grealish became involved in a pushing match with Club America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

The bad feeling shown towards the City midfielder extended into the second half with America fans jeering his every touch.

Both players were let off with a warning and on 30 minutes, Ochoa was left helpless as De Bruyne curled home an unstoppable effort from just outside the box.

The Mexico international was subbed soon after and his replacement was almost beaten by a fiercely struck Joao Cancelo effort but as the clock ticked towards half time, City were undone by a long ball forward and Henry Martin saw off Nathan Ake's challenge before rolling home.

The irrepressible De Bruyne, however, restored the lead when he was fed by Riyad Mahrez and finished clinically for his second of the evening just before half time.

New signing Kalvin Phillips, the England international midfielder signed for $54 million from Leeds United, came on as a central defender after the interval.

Haaland will hope now to get his first run out in a City shirt in Saturday's game against Bayern Munich at Green Bay's Lambeau Field.

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Updated: July 21, 2022, 4:36 AM
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