Football: Nastasic injury mars City trophy victory
HONG KONG (AFP) - Key defender Matija Nastasic had to be stretchered off Hong Kong's "killer pitch" on Saturday, spoiling what was Manuel Pellegrini's first piece of silverware as Manchester City manager.
Edin Dzeko's spectacular volley from outside the box on nine minutes - his second goal in two games - was enough to edge City past a dogged Sunderland 1-0 in the Barclays Asia Trophy final. Dzeko also missed a second-half penalty when he blazed over.
Pellegrini said he did not believe the dire condition of the muddy pitch at the 40,000 sell-out Hong Kong Stadium - where Manchester United play on Monday - was to blame for Nastasic's ankle injury.
Nevertheless it will again put the spotlight on the treacherous conditions - Spurs' Belgian international Jan Vertonghen faces a race to be fit for the start of the season in three weeks after also injuring his ankle, that in the 3-1 defeat to Sunderland at the same venue on Wednesday.