City prepare for South China clash

Last updated : 22 May 2008 By Ben Collins
An inexperienced Blues side lost 3-1 against a Thai League All-Stars XI in Bangkok on Sunday.

Felipe Caicedo started up front alongside Valeri Bojinov and gave the Blues a deserved 22nd-minute lead, with winger Martin Petrov in the thick of the action for City.

The home side went in front after scoring twice in the last 8 minutes of the 1st half and then sealed the win with a 73rd-minute header.

China international Sun Jihai featured in the City defence and City's three Thai players came on midway through the 2nd half, with striker Teerasil Dangda denied a late goal after heading home from a Petrov corner.

Sun will now captain the Blues in Hong Kong, where they will face a South China Invitational XI in a double-header tonight which will also see Italian giants Juventus take on South China.

"I think Asian football is getting better and better, and it's important that Juventus and many Premier League teams such as ourselves come here and play football," said City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson. "That can only help to benefit football in Asia.

"We'll try to win the game - it's our last game of the season. We are sure you will see two good football matches.

"We've trained at the stadium and it was very good so we are hoping there will be many there to see the game."

Sven has already confirmed his starting line-up, and Sam Williamson replaces Youth Cup-winning captain Ben Mee while Kelvin Etuhu is the only other change coming in for Bojinov.

City Team: Schmeichel; Logan, Sun Jihai (c), Williamson, Garrido; Etuhu, Hamann, Geovanni, Petrov; Caicedo, Vassell.
Subs: Martin, Trippier, McGivern, Mee, Tutte, Bojinov, D.Ball.