Liaoning Hongyun 0 Blues 2
By Brian Cartlidge
Updated Saturday, 24th July 2010
Blues concluded their three game tour of the far-east with a 2-0 win against Liaoning Hongyun on Saturday.
Blues 1st half: Taylor; Carr, Johnson, Dann, Parnaby; Larsson, Michel, Gardner, Valles, O’Connor, Zigic.
Garry O'Connor gave Blues an 18th minute lead at the Olympic Stadium in Shenyang when he latched onto a headed flick-on into the box from Nikola Zigic, rounded the keeper and cooly slotted home left footed from close range.
Seb Larsson doubled Blues' advantage on 37 minutes. Craig Gardners looping long ball into the box was met by the Blues winger who neatly chipped the advancing Liaoning keeper Lu from about eight yards out.
Craig Gardner almost made the score 3-0 just a minute before the half time break but his powerful header from a right wing cross by Larsson was superbly parried away by Lu.
Second half substitute Kevin Phillips came close to making the score 3-0 just six minutes after the break but his sweetly hit left-footed drive from 15 yards out was saved well by substitute keeper Cui Kai.
Summer signing Zigic then came close to scoring his first goal in a Blues shirt when he found space in the box from a left wing corner. His left footed shot, however, was somewhat fortunately smothered by Kai at the second attempt.
Young defender Fraser Kerr got his first taste of first team football when he was introduced to the action on 74 minutes as replacement for skipper Stephen Carr.
Four minutes from time the hosts came close to reducing the defecit but Maik Taylor tipped over a fierce left-footed shot by Luis from the edge of the area.
Blues 2nd half: Taylor, Carr (Kerr, 74 mins), Dann, Ridgewell, Murphy; Mutch, Bowyer, Ferguson, Valles (Fahey, 61 mins); Phillips, Zigic.
And so, Blues made it three wins from their three game tour of the far-east.
The squad will now remain in the far-east for a few days before travelling back to the UK late on Tuesday evening.
Their next pre-season friendly will be against Championship side Derby County at Pride Park next Saturday afternoon, 31st July.