MELBOURNE, Sporting Alert – Raheem Sterling wasted no time in getting his first goal for Manchester City after he helped his new club beat Roma 5-4 on penalties in an International Champions Cup pre-season contest at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
The game ended 2-2 in regulation and Joe Hart made two saves and scored a penalty during the shoot-out win for the Premier League side.
Starting out wide in the familiar 4-3-3 formation for City, Sterling, who pinched in from off the left flank, held his run to stay onside and run onto a through ball from Kelechi Iheanacho.
before side-footing past Morgan de Sanctis to make it 1-0 with just three minutes on the clock.
However, five minutes later, Miralem Pjanic blasted home a stunning equaliser for AS Roma.
Pjanic collected a pass from Gervinho and after finding some space, smashed home a shot from 25-yards, which beat Manchester City goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero all the way.
After the goals, both sides continued to trade blows without finding another success.
AS Roma finished the first half the stronger of the two sides though, as the Italian Serie team put the Premier League club under serious pressure before the break.
In the 42nd minute Gervinho worked his way into the box and delivered a cross which was cleared by captain Vincent Kompany just before it got to Francesco Totti.
Seconds later Miralem Pjanic almost turned provider for Gervinho, but his cross was cleared away by Eliaquim Mangala.
Manchester City started the second half very brightly and they were rewarded early in the half with a gift.
With no pressure at all on him, former Chelsea right-back Ashley Cole made an unnecessary and risky pass, which was deemed careless and untidy by his manager, and the England defender was made to pay for the silly decision.
Striker Iheanacho was alerted to the back pass from Cole and the Nigerian, who picked up the ball under no pressure, kept his cool to slot into the back of the net with a delightful finish in the 51st minute to make it 2-1.
But with just minutes left in regulation, AS Roma found another equaliser from a brilliantly taken free-kick by substitute Adam Ljajic.
The Italian giants were awarded a free-kick close to the Manchester City goal, following a foul by Yaya Toure and Ljajic blasted home a stunning free-kick past Joe Hart, who watch the ball curled into the bottom corner of his goal in the 87th minute.
That goal sent the contest into a straight penalty shoot-out without extra-time.
Yaya Toure, Jesus Nevas, Marcos Lopez, Joe Hart and James Horsfield all scored for Manchester City, although Aleksandar Kolarov went for power in his attempt and blasted into the stands.
Radja Nainggolan, Ljajic, who expertly chipped in past Hart, Mattia Destro and Iago Falqué all scored from the spot for AS Roma, but Seydou Doumbia and Seydou Keita failed to convert.