Manchester City youngster, Luka Nmecha is sad that he could not score for The Citizens in their opening match of the 2018 International Champions Cup, but his effort was blocked by Liverpool goalkeeper, Loris Karius.
Though The Reds’ German shot-stopper has been under fire for several errors in recent time, he rose to the occasion to deny Nmecha early in the battle of both English Premier League clubs in New Jersey, USA; which Liverpool won 2-1, after Tosin Adarabioyo gave away a late penalty by taking down Dominic Solanke in the box.
With Nmecha failing to bury his chance, Man City went on to lose the game, as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both got off The Reds’ bench in the second half to hit goals that helped their side zoom from behind to register their victory.
Leroy Sane had given City the lead in Wednesday’s clash in New Jersey, but a header from Salah and a last-gasp penalty from Mane, after Solanke was felled in the box, gave The Reds a deserved victory.
The opening stages of the game at Met Life Stadium passed by without incident, but City squandered the chance to go ahead on 13 minutes when Nmecha was played through on goal, only for the youngster to be denied by Karius.
Liverpool responded with a tame effort from youngster Curtis Jones, but it was City who looked the more likely to take the lead as their youngsters relished the chance to compete on a big stage.
Reds’ boss, Jurgen Klopp introduced Mane at half time and it almost resulted in a goal for the substitute, who saw a shot cleared off the line after bundling the ball past Joe Hart.
City responded through Sane, who was denied by a brilliant save by Liverpool’s substitute stopper Caoimhin Kelleher, but it did not take long for the German to get himself on the scoresheet.
Sane played a give and go with Bernando Silva before latching onto a through-ball and after beating Virgil van Dijk for pace, a shot was drilled into the far bottom corner from eight yards.
Klopp acted by introducing Salah for his first appearance since the World Cup and with his second touch, last season’s top goals scorer powered a header past Hart from eight yards after meeting a cross from Rafael Camacho.
Salah could have bagged himself a quick-fire double moments later, only for Cameron Humphreys to get a vital touch at the back post, and the Egypt international then struck the bar from 12 yards after beating the offside trap.
The match appeared destined for a penalty shootout but in the third minute of added-on time, Solanke was barged in the back by Adarabioyo in the penalty area and it gave Mane the chance to win the game with a well-struck spot kick into the bottom left corner.
Afterwards, Nmecha faulted the game’s American referee for not awarding the Premier League champions at least one penalty during the contest.
Nmecha reasoned: ”We should have had a couple of penalties in my opinion. We pressed well, showed good aggression and the principles are starting to resonate.
“We’re getting closer together and now we head to Miami where we’ll just try and get back to winning ways. It’s been tough losing these two matches but we’ll aim to bounce back at the weekend.”