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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 22, 2008

South China XI 3-1 Man City

Manchester City concluded their post-season tour of Asia with a humiliating defeat to a South China Invitational XI in what could prove to be Sven-Goran Eriksson's swansong as manager.

Dietmar Hamann put City ahead but the hosts levelled before half-time through Giovane Da Silva.

The Invitational XI - a select band of Hong Kong players - went ahead three minutes after the interval when Festus Baise struck before Liang Zicheng added a third in the 71st minute.

City failed to respond to end their miserable tour with a second loss following last Saturday's 3-1 reverse to Thailand Premier All-Stars, a defeat played under the watchful eye of club owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

Eriksson's position has been the subject of feverish speculation since it was revealed Thaksin was conducting a review of the club, the result of which will be known after City return to Manchester tomorrow.

Thaksin demonstrated his soft side by donating the match fee to the emergency fund for the victims of last week's China earthquake.

But whether the former Thai prime minister will be more ruthless with Eriksson is yet to be revealed.

China international defender Sun Jihai was awarded the captaincy in what could also be his final match for City with his contract set to expire next month.

The Blues, who wore black armbands due to the tragedy, coasted through the early stages before they took the lead in the 15th minute.

Geovanni's accurate 40-yard pass found Hamann strolling unmarked into the box and he prodded the ball low beyond Chung Ho Yin.

City had made the early running but a cutting edge was lacking and they were punished 12 minutes later.

The hosts equalised when Baise found Goran Stankouski who crossed for Da Silva to slide in and level and the Invitational XI took the lead for the first time in the 48th minute.

Substitute goalkeeper Richard Martin could not hold Stankouski's vicious foot shot and Baise slotted the rebound into the top corner.

South China piled the misery on City and Eriksson midway through the second half.

Sun failed to intercept a through ball allowing Liang to go through unopposed and round Martin to finish from an acute angle.

City - missing numerous first-team regulars - had half-chances towards the end but could not convert in another inept display.

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