Record-signing Raheem Sterling swooped on a defence-splitting pass from Kelechi Iheanacho to score his debut goal just over two minutes as Manchester City downed AS Roma on penalties in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, AFP reports.
The Italians equalised just five minutes after Sterling’s strike in spectacular fashion. Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic let fly with a 20-metre thunderbolt into the top right corner.
But Iheanacho put Manchester City ahead again on 51 minutes when he zeroed in on an awful back pass by former England international Ashley Cole to coolly beat De Sanctis from close range.
But Serbian Adem Ljajic threw the Italians a lifeline when he beat Joe Hart with his free-kick over the wall in the 87th minute to send the match into penalties.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart made two late saves as Manchester City won 5-4 after the penalty shootout at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sterling, the most expensive English footballer in history, took just two minutes and 17 seconds to open his account for the big-spending English club.
He showed his explosive pace to utilise a pass from Iheanacho to leave Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis flailing and slot the ball into the empty net.
While Sterling’s much-anticipated first appearance in the sky blue was the major talking point, the 2014 English Premier League champions showed plenty of attacking promise for the season ahead.
The 20-year-old Jamaican-born Londoner completed his move to Manchester City from Liverpool last week in a five-year deal worth an initial £44m that could rise to £49m.
Sterling had a big shout for a penalty turned down when he was brought down by Alessandro Florenzi midway through the opening half, but Australian referee Jared Gillett waved play on.