PRETORIA: Emmanuel Adebayor failed to score on his debut as Manchester City fell 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday in the Vodacom Challenge final.
The £25mil signing from Arsenal came closest early in the second half at Loftus Versfeld when he pounced on a clearance and rounded a defender only to fire over.
Other new strikers Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz were not used by City while ex-Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry was the only player from the big-spending Premier League outfit to have a first-half shot on target.
Chiefs won a lively match through a 42nd-minute goal from defender Jeffrey Ntuka with some City players claiming he controlled the ball with a hand before firing home.
City manager Mark Hughes gave starting places to goalkeeper Shay Given and defender-cum-captain Richard Dunne for the first time on the eight-day tour to the 2010 FIFA World Cup host nation.
Republic of Ireland international Given was hardly troubled before Ntuka struck while Dunne was substituted by Pablo Zabaleta after 37 minutes on a chilly, clear winter afternoon in the Highveld city.
The first half looked set to end goalless until Chiefs went ahead after Given dived low to his left and pushed away a Nkosinathi Nhleko shot at the expense of a corner.
City failed to clear the third corner forced by the South Africans and the ball took a deflection off a head to Ntuka lurking at the far post and he drove the ball into the opposite corner of the net.
After forcing their only corner of the half a minute before the break, City substitute Ben Haim headed wide while Togolese Adebayor committed a stoppage-time foul when he battled for possession in the goalmouth.
In the second half it took City just two minutes to force a corner as they sought an equaliser and Adebayor should have done better on 55 minutes than blazing over from an acute angle when a rebound fell into his path.
Hughes brought on Brazilian Robinho for Bulgarian Martin Petrov, but Chiefs held their own as they sought to end a Premier League dominance of the trophy after Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur won the last two editions.
Reigning African Footballer of the Year Adebayor had a half chance 12 mintues from full-time when he connected with a deep cross, but his timid header was comfortably held by well positioned Itumeleng Khune.
The Premier League club lost 2-0 to Orlando Pirates in Polokwane and won 1-0 against Chiefs in Durban in earlier matches on their first visit to South Africa in 16 years. — AFP