- Match reports
- Wed 20 Jul 2005, 12:00AM
- Posted by Leon Collins
City will play Everton on Saturday after losing a penalty shoot-out after finishing 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers in Bangkok.
It was a cruel end to the game for Bradley Wright-Phillips, who led the line in the draining heat and humidity, only to miss the vital fifth penalty after both sides had scored with their first four spot kicks.
Prior to the shoot-out, City had taken a one-goal lead into half time after Joey Barton's sweet strike finished off a well-worked move that involved Bradley Wright-Phillips and the returning Trevor Sinclair.
Stephen Ireland made his first team debut, and both Trevor Sinclair and Geert De Vlieger made a return after long injury lay-offs.
After a quiet first eight minutes, De Vlieger was called into action. He looked to be late getting out towards the oncoming Pedersen, but he was quick enough to charge the striker's effort down and parry away the rebound from Vaz Te.
On 23 minutes, Speed nodded a glancing header goalwards, but De Vlieger read it all the way and the ball went straight into his arms.
One feature of the game that probably won't feature in an average Premiership fixture were the regular breaks for all the players and officials to take on water, due to the sapping heat and humidity.
On 29 minutes Speed whipped in a left-footed free kick but it flew just over, with De Vlieger looking to have a got a faint touch.
City's first real chance of the night arrived after 35 minutes, and it came about after great work from Barton down the right saw him whip a cross in from just outside the area, but Wright-Phillips' well hit shot from six yards brought out a fine stop from Jussi Jaaskelainen.
But it was not long before City took the lead, with Wright-Phillips finding Sinclair free on the right of the area. His pass bobbled through to Barton, but the midfielder pounced on the chance and his precise shot slid across Jaaskelainen and into the far corner giving the keeper no chance whatsoever.
Willo Flood and Lee Croft replaced Sinclair and Musampa at half time.
The second half was only two minutes old when Bolton equalised. A high ball in towards Kevin Davies rebounded to Nolan, whose low cross found Davies again, and the former Blackburn and Southampton striker slammed a left-footed shot high into the net past De Vlieger.
City nearly reclaimed the lead 10 minutes into the second period when Wright-Phillips cut in from the right after the referee allowed a great advantage for a possible offside. After a jinking run the striker stabbed the ball straight at Jaaskelinen, and Flood could only fire the rebound a long way over.
Bolton immediately threatened at the other end, but after a chaotic scramble in the area and some bodies-on-the-line defending City were able to clear although Vaz Te could easily have put Wanderers ahead.
On 59 minutes, Mills nutmegged a Bolton defender to find Barton, who drove goalwards along the dead ball line only to drill his shot into Jaaskekainen.
After another water break on 64 minutes, City made four more substitutions with De Laryea, Jihai Sun, Sommeil and Micah Richards coming on
Bolton went close a minute later, when after a defensive mix-up a Pedersen back-header was deflected onto and round the post by De Vlieger.
Wanderers kept the pressure on, and Vaz Te went close again on 70 minutes, when his right footed shot rolled just wide of the left hand post.
Karl Bermingham replaced Stephen Ireland with 16 minutes to go.
The game slowed right down in the last part of the match, with Bolton making a mass substitution shortly before the end, possibly with one eye on having some recognised penalty takers on the pitch at the end of the match.
With the game ending all square, penalties were required to decide who would play Thailand in Saturday's final.
Barton - scores, high down the middle.
Okocha - scores, low to keeper's left
Flood - scores, low to keeper's right and off post
Diouf - scores, low to keeper's left
Sun - scores, firmly hit low to the right of keeper
Vaz Te - scores, low to De Vlieger's left
Bermingham - scores, emphatic strike high to keeper's right
Padiga - scores, cheeky & unstoppable left footer high to keeper's left
Wright-Phillips - misses, high over the bar
Campo - scores, high to De Vlieger's right to win the shoot-out.