Daniel Agger’s 74th-minute goal gave Liverpool a welcome cushion as this Barclays Asia Cup friendly moved towards the final stages in sweltering humid conditions in Hong Kong. Riise crossed for Kuyt who laid the ball on for Agger. That cushion was certainly needed with Liverpool noticeably tiring as the game ended.
Agger’s was the first goal of the game to come in open play, with all the first half goals coming from set-pieces.
Liverpool went ahead on 10 minutes when John Arne Riise scored from a direct free-kick, and were further ahead on 26 minutes when Andriy Voronin was pushed off the ball in the box and awarded a penalty by referee Mark Clattenburg. Xabi Alonso cooly slotted the ball into the net to make it 2-0 to the Reds.
South China pulled a goal back on 34 minutes with a wonderful free-kick catching Scott Carson off guard.
Liverpool were denied the services of a number of players. Steven Gerrard was unable to play through injury, but also unable to turn out were Lucas Leiva, Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel. That trio’s international clearance was not received in time for the competition, but is expected to be in place by the time the final is played on Friday. That final will be against Portsmouth, who despatched Fulham in the earlier game today.