• Barclays Asia Trophy

New look Sunderland beat Spurs to set up Man City final

ESPN staff
July 24, 2013
Cabral celebrates his debut goal © Getty Images

Wes Brown marked his return from injury with a goal and two new signings were on the scoresheet as Sunderland defeated Tottenham Hotspur to reach Saturday's Barclays Asia Trophy final in Hong Kong.

Brown, who last played in pre-season a year ago, headed home David Moberg Karlsson's 64th-minute corner after new boy Cabral had cancelled out Gylfi Sigurdsson's opener, before Karlsson himself made sure with a third at the death.

Kick-off at the Hong Kong Stadium was delayed for half an hour by torrential rain which left surface water on the pitch, and the decision was taken to restrict the match to two 40-minute halves when it did eventually get under way.

There was no Gareth Bale, linked with a move to Real Madrid by reports in Spain, in the Spurs side because of injury, while Wearsiders boss Paolo Di Canio included summer signings Vito Mannone, Cabral, Emanuele Giaccherini and Jozy Altidore.

Conditions remained difficult, but the Londoners took the lead with 28 minutes gone when full-back Kyle Walker broke down the right and squared for Sigurdsson, whose snapshot was unwittingly deflected past keeper Mannone by John O'Shea.

Sunderland levelled within six minutes when Altidore capitalised on Tom Huddlestone's error to play in midfielder Cabral, who finished adeptly.

Altidore passed up a golden opportunity to open his account two minutes after the restart and after half-time substitute Jan Vertonghen had departed on a stretcher following an awkward landing, Mannone saved well from Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Italian produced a fine stop to deny half-time substitute Jermain Defoe on the hour, but Brown headed the Wersiders in front from replacement Karlsson's 64th-minute corner.

Altidore might have made sure nine minutes from time but was denied by Brad Friedel, but the keeper could do nothing to prevent Karlsson from making it 3-1 in the final minute.

Sunderland will face Manchester City in the final, after Manuel Pellegrini's team edged South China 1-0 in the other semi-final thanks to a goal from Edin Dzeko.

Pellegrini, appointed as successor to the sacked Roberto Mancini in June, was returning to the dugout having been absent for family reasons earlier this month when his side were beaten 2-1 by AmaZulu - City's second defeat in two pre-season friendlies.

The Chilean included midfielder Fernandinho, one of the Blues' summer signings,in the starting line-up and saw his team look comfortable in the opening exchanges, with Dzeko firing into the side-netting and Yaya Toure then having a header saved.

City duly took the lead when Milner neatly evaded a challenge on the right and delivered a ball which Dzeko headed into the ground and past the goalkeeper from close range.

The next time City really looked threatening was two minutes after the break as Toure flashed an effort across the face of goal and wide.

South China then enjoyed a spell of pressure, before Toure was substituted for another new recruit in striker Alvaro Negredo, who was making his unofficial Blues debut and soon sent an acrobatic effort over the bar.

Negredo subsequently teed up his fellow frontman Dzeko, with the Bosnian being denied by a smart save, before the lively Milner launched an audacious long-range attempt that went off target.

Elsewhere, Southampton suffered a 2-0 loss to Schalke 04 in Austria. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Joël Matip were both on the scoresheet for the German giants, but Mauricio Pochettino will be pleased with his side after a strong performance.

Edin Dzeko scores for Manchester City © Getty Images
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