Brian Barry-Murphy’s young side created several excellent opportunities while Brazilian striker Kayky came on for his club debut in the second half.
But five goals in the second half made the booty went to the Millers, for whom Kieran Sadlier scored a hat trick when they scored three of three wins in Group E
City’s low hopes for a possible second place now rest on the result of the last group game between Scunthorpe and Doncaster next month .
With Rotherham flying high in League One and winning both group games from Papa John, it promised another tough test for Brian Barry-Murphy’s team.
It proved a hesitant one at Aesseal New York Opening where both sides pushed up and looked for an opening at every opportunity.
A scorching run from James McAtee in the 11th minute resulted in the mid-eleven Elder Micah Hamilton struck from the left, but the City winger’s shot was comfortably blocked by Millers keeper Viktor Johansson.
The hosts then warmed the hands of Cieran Slicker in the City goal, with Freddie Ladapo from 20 yards A wonderful search ball from Romeo Lavia forced Johannson to run out of his box to defeat the advancing McAtee, the goalkeeper taking long treatment for his courage.
Another great long-distance pass from Lavia found McAtee again, who attacked the right time, and Liam Delap shot on goal from the midfielder’s square ball, but his stake was too high.
Delap in the Rotherham penalty area then ensured a great strength from Shea Charles, and Johannson took a nice save to parry his shot over the crossbar.
More magical footwork from Wilson-Esbrand then nearly unlocked the Rotherham defense before a deflection Another Delap shot whistled into the goal.
City made a double substitution during the break with the Brazilian teenage striker Kayky, who made his club debut, with Nico O’Reilly also taking action.
And City made the breakthrough in the second half almost immediately, when only a clever Johansson save against McAtee.
In the 51st minute, however, Rotherham made the decisive breakthrough. After the ball was intercepted by Mbete, substitute Will Grigg steered Kieran Sadlier’s 18-yard drive past Slicker into the net.
City could have drawn almost immediately. Bobb did miracles to regain the ball from the edge of the box and then sink McAtee behind the Millers defense.
Kayky found his cross unmarked on the right edge of the box, but the 18-year-old’s shot was just too strong.City stormed forward again, with Johansson McAtee again denying before O’Reilly’s follow-up shot was deflected.
It was now an end-to-end stuff with Slicker being watchful then, Sadlier in a one-on-one after Rotherham wrested the ball on the halfway line.
But City’s abandonment became even more difficult in the 63rd minute when the hosts doubled their lead from the penalty spot.
Finley Burns was replaced by referee Samuel Barrott promised to have brought Kayode down in the penalty area and Sadlier sent Slicker in the wrong direction after the resulting penalty.
And with the tails up, Rotherham extended his lead in 67 minutes when Jake Hull a Lüc ke found to lead Mickel Miller’s corner past Slicker and almost seal the third group win in a row.
O’Reilly and Lewis got excruciatingly close again before Sadler added his second and Rotherham’s fourth goal nine minutes from time .
And a disappointing second half was sealed when Sadler completed his hat trick with a free kick in the 90th minute.
Cieran Slicker was in goal, shielded by a back four of Rico Lewis, Luke Mbete, Finley Burns and Josh Wilson-Esbrand. Romeo Lavia was the holding midfielder with Shea Charles and James McAtee also in the engine room. Oscar Bobb, Liam Delap and Micah Hamilton were the front trio.
While Rotherham has secured his place in the knockout round, City now has to wait for the outcome of the final group game between Scunthorpe and Doncaster.
Like City Doncaster has three points, but City has a slightly better goal difference while Scunthorpe has no point.
They will meet on November 9th to determine who will finish second in the group and advance to the round of 32 .
Brian Barry-Murphy’s team will be back to work on Friday when we resume PL2 away action in Brighton Hove Albion.
The South Coast kick-off is at 7:00 p.m. and CITY subscribers can follow all the action live on our app and website.
Check out the full 90-minute journey by the Manchester City Elite Development Squad to Rotherham United.