Disappointing finish to Asian tour

Last updated : 23 May 2008 By Ben Collins
Just as they did against a Thai League All Stars XI in Bangkok on Sunday, an inexperienced Blues side took an early lead before slipping to a 3-1 defeat.

Didi Hamann opened the scoring in the 15th minute by volleying home from Geovanni's centre but Geovane got the South China side on level terms by the break.

City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson brought on Richard Martin for Kasper Schmeichel at half-time and three minutes after the restart, the young keeper punched out a shot for Festus to turn in the rebound and put the hosts in front.

Martin Petrov, who also impressed in Bangkok, and Geovanni then both fired into the side-netting before City conceded a third late on as they slumped to another setback.

"I'm disappointed that we lost, but the most important thing is that we tried to play good football," said Eriksson.

"It's been a very, very long season for all of us, especially for a lot of young players and a lot of new players in the Premier League. I think everybody looks forward to a break now."

The City boss was pleased to have blooded youngsters such as David Ball, Ryan McGivern, Ben Mee, Kieran Trippier and Andrew Tutte on the two-game Asian tour and believes one of them can break into the 1st team next season.

"I believe that someone has the chance but it depends very much on pre-season," he added. "One or two - maybe all of them - will have the chance in the future. I think it was very useful for the young players we have had out here."

City: Schmeichel (Martin 46); Sun Jihai (c), Logan, Garrido (McGivern 76), Williamson (Mee 76); Vassell, Etuhu (Trippier 46), Geovanni, Hamann (Tutte), Petrov; Caicedo.