Third time lucky: Serie A champions Juventus beat South China to claim first win in Hong Kong
Substitute Lorenzo Rosseti scored the winner in the AET International Challenge Cup at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday as the visitors recorded a 2-1 victory
Juventus claimed a first-ever win in Hong Kong after a goalkeeping error from South China substitute Cristian Mora handed the Italian champions a 2-1 victory in the AET International Challenge Cup at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday.
Chan Siu-ki had handed South China the lead after 21 minutes as the home side looked to follow up their 2-1 win over the Serie A side in 2008.
But after Morocco international Medhi Benatia pulled the visitors level five minutes later, substitute Lorenzo Rosseti took advantage of Mora’s error to net the winner with eight minutes remaining for Juventus, who also drew 2-2 with Kitchee in 2005.
Juventus made a strong start to the contest as Alex Sandro saw an eighth minute header come back off the post before Alberto Cerri was denied by South China goalkeeper Tsang Man-fai.
But it was South China who took the lead after 21 minutes as Juventus’ Brazilian goalkeeper Neto failed to deal with Chak Ting-fung’s free kick into the area and Chan was on hand to collect the loose ball before finding the bottom corner with a composed finish.
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The lead, though, lasted just five minutes as Miralem Pjanic’s free kick struck South China’s Chak and deflected into the penalty area, and Benatia colleted the loose ball before netting his second goal in as many games for his new club having also netted against Tottenham Hotspur in Melbourne on Tuesday.
South China came close to an instant response Mahama Awal was denied by Neto.
But it was Juventus who finished the half strongly as Benatia went close with a free kick before both Paulo Dybala and Pjanic tested South China goalkeeper Tsang.
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Sandro and Dybala led the charge for Juventus at the start of the second half before half-time substitute Rosseti twice went close for the visitors just before the hour mark.
And the visitors finally took the lead with eight minutes remaining as Rosseti pounced after South China substitute goalkeeper Mora failed to hold a shot from Juventus replacement Stefano Padovan.