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20.06.2007 12:39

Asian Opposition


FC Barcelona's tour of Asia will see them play three friendly encounters against Beijing Guoan, Yokohama Marinos and a combined team from Hong Kong.

After first travelling to play in the Chinese capital, Beijing, the Blaugrana will then appear in Yokohama in Japan and then travel to Honk Kong for the final match of the trip.

First Encounter

beijingOK.jpgOn August 5, Barça will take on Guoan Football Club from Beijing. The Chinese outfot, trained by Lee Jang-Soo, have won the national league on three occasions (1996, 1997 and 2003) as well as two Chinese Super Cups (1998 and 2004). The game will take place in the Fengtai Stadium, also known as the Workers' Stadium, which holds around 33,000 spectators. The Blaugrana will unable to play in their hosts' new stadium, as construction is still underway to ensure that it is ready in time for the Olympic Games next year.

Back Again

yokohamaOK.jpgThe second game of the tour will be in Jaoan where Barça will take on Yokohama Marinos on August 7. This will be the third meeting between the two teams in the last two years. The Marinos turned professional in 1992, and changed their name from Nissan FC, and are coached by Hiroshi Hayano. Ex-Blaugrana stars such as Julio Salinas and Jon Andoni Goikoetxea have played for them in previous seasons. They play in the Nissan Stadium which hosted the final of the World Cup in 2002 and has a capacity of 70,000. The home team have won the Japanese League on three occasions (1995, 2003 and 2004), the Nabisco Cup once (2001), the Emperor's Cup six times (1983, 1985, 1988, 1991 and 1992) and two Asian Cup Winners' Cups (1991-92 and 1992-93).

Hong Kong Invitation

Hong Kong will be the venue for the final match of the tour when Barça will take on a team made up of players from local teams; Kitchee FC and Happy Valley FC. The team will be called the Mission Hills Invitation XI and will come together especially for this friendly. The game will be played in the Hong Kong Stadium, which holds around 40,000 people.

kitcheeOK.jpgKitchee FC, known locally as Hong Kong Hotspur, were founded in 1931 and aer currently trained by Serbian coach Dajan Antonices. In previous years the club has won the Hong Kong League three times (1948, 1950 and 1964), the Jong King Cup twice (2006 and 2007) and the Hong Kong Senior Shield five times (1950, 1954, 1960, 1964 and 2006).

happyvalleyOK.jpgHappy Valley FC were founded in 1951 nd are known locally as the Vikings. In the past they have won four league titles (1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999), six Hong Kong leagues (1965, 1989, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2006) and two Hong Kong Cups (2000 and 2004).
Asian Opposition
Previous Meetings
Of the three teams that Barça will play on tour, Yokohama Marinos are the only side that they have previously played. The first meeting was in 2004-05 when a 1-1 draw was played out and the followng year the game ended 3-3.

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