By Wes Sparkmon
In front of the largest crowd to ever see a soccer game in the state of Tennessee, English Premier League squad Manchester City topped league rival Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Saturday night at Nissan Stadium as part of the International Champions Cup, a round-robin tournament featuring 8 top-tier international teams across the United States.
In the first half, Tottenham’s midfielder Dele Alli had a quick shot smothered by the City goalie before Manchester City earned a free kick in the 10th minute of the game. Star attacker Kevin De Bruyne’s shot was deflected by a Tottenham defender, but John Stones buried the ball in the back of the net. Spurs’ goalie Hugo Lloris stopped multiple shots by the City attackers. Tottenham was able to have a few shots on goals while tensions between the teams built. Tensions were resolved by the halftime whistle.
A bevy of substitutions in the second half threatened to slow play, but the Manchester City attack continued to push towards the Tottenham goal. While the Spurs were able to get a few shots of their own off, City’s attack ended with two one-on-one goals from Raheem Sterling and Brahim Diaz to set the final margin at 3-0.
Man City and Tottenham Hotspur, who finished 3rd and 2nd respectively in the English Premier League last season, used the match as tune up going into the upcoming season. This game drew from United States supporters across the country, including members of a record 64 Tottenham supporters groups.
Not only did team supporters come out, but soccer fans from around the regions, including many representing Tennessee Soccer Club. The local fans were looking to make a good impression on Major League Soccer representatives looking for new markets to expand into. Between Tottenham fans, Manchester City fans, and the local fans, Nissan Stadium was filled with 56,232 fans, a new record for fans to see a soccer game in the state of Tennessee. The success of clubs like Tennessee Soccer Club have helped to push soccer to these new heights within the state.