CITY 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 1
(Bolton win 5-4 on penalties)
FA Premier League Asia Trophy
played in Bangkok
20th July 2005
City De Vlieger, Mills, Dunne, Bischoff, Jordan, Sinclair, Barton, Reyna, Ireland, Musampa, B Wright-Phillips – subs used Flood, Croft, J D’Laryea, Sun, Sommeil, Richards, Bermingham
Bolton Jaaskelainen, Hunt, B’Gotty, Ben Haim, Gardner, Speed, Campo, Nolan, Pedersen, Davies, Vaz Te
JOEY BARTON SCORES, BUT BRADLEY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS PENALTY MISS HANDS THE GAME TO BOLTON
WHAT THE PRESS SAID
Shaun Wright-Phillips’ half brother Bradley blazed the vital spot-kick over the bar as Bolton advanced to the FA Premier League Asia Trophy final.
After the tie had ended in stalemate, the north-west rivals were still locked together when Wright-Phillips took Manchester City’s final kick.
But the youngster smashed his shot high over the bar to leave Stuart Pearce wishing he had put new arrival Andy Cole on the bench instead of handing him an afternoon training session after linking up with his new team-mates earlier in the day.
Even though there was more of a breeze at kick-off than there had been for Everton’s surprise defeat by Thailand, there was still enough heat in the evening to ensure the pace was somewhat more pedestrian than for a typical north-west derby.
While City held the advantage in possession, it was Bolton who carved out most of what could be construed as chances in the opening stages and Gary Speed almost put them in front with a powerful header from Ivan Campo’s free-kick which flashed just wide.
The effort appeared to rouse City into action and the remaining Wright-Phillips at Eastlands, Shaun’s half-brother Bradley, saw a close range effort excellently kept out by Jussi Jaaskelainen after Barton had provided the England U20 international with a low cross.
Barton had more luck himself four minutes before half-time, finishing off a flowing move which began with an excellent pass on the turn from Wright-Phillips which sent Trevor Sinclair racing into the box.
The former England international, now recovered from the knee injury which kept him out most of last season, cut a low pass back into Barton’s path and the midfielder finished well with an angled drive.
Taking out the half-time break, the lead lasted just six minutes as Bolton levelled on their first attack of the second period.
Kevin Nolan did the spadework, wriggling his way into space inside the City box, then rolling a pass to Davies, who smashed a first-time shot into the roof of Geert De Vlieger’s net.
Half-time substitute Joey O’Brien drilled an effort just wide shortly afterwards as Bolton threatened to take control.
Instead, City came out of their shell a little bit, allowing Wright-Phillips to show off a bit more of his talent.
In his schoolboy days, Bradley was rated a better prospect than Shaun and although those prophecies now appear unlikely to be fulfilled, there remain high hopes in the City camp over the young striker’s development.
Throughout a largely disappointing pre-season campaign so far, Wright-Phillips has got into good scoring positions without actually managing to find the net.
He did it again just before the hour mark when he crabbed across the Bolton box, beating two opposition defenders on the way, before firing a well-hit shot towards goal which Jaaskelainen kept out.
The giant Finn was also in the way when Barton latched onto Danny Mills’ excellent pass, raced down the byline, then cut a cross back which would have left Wright-Phillips with a four-yard tap-in if it had reached him.
Either side of those efforts, Henrik Pedersen went close twice, driving a shot at De Vlieger after Ricardo Vaz Te had planted a header against the bar, then seeing a shot on the turn pushed onto the post by the City goalkeeper after poor communication in the Blues’ defence.
Rahdi Jaidi wasted a glorious opportunity to put Bolton in the final when he blasted wide after being picked out unmarked at the far post by Vaz Te.
The biggest cheer of the entire evening was reserved for the triple arrival of Jay-Jay Okocha, El-Hadji Diouf and Khalilou Fadiga two minutes from time.
All three scored in the shoot-out. Unfortunately for Wright-Phillips, he ballooned City’s last kick way over the bar and Ivan Campo strode up to send Bolton into the final.