Pre-season friendlies: Stevan Jovetic fires Inter Milan to narrow win over Lyon on bumpy Shanghai pitch

Shanghai: A bumpy pitch and hot weather took the shine off Inter Milan's 1-0 victory over Lyon Monday in a pre-season friendly held in China.

The match at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre — home of Chinese Super League's Jiangsu Suning — saw both sides struggle with the poor surface and humidity.

Soccer Football - Inter Milan v Olympique Lyonnais - International Champions Cup China- Nanjing, Jiangsu, China - July 24, 2017 - Players of Inter Milan celebrate a goal. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT. - RTX3CPFY

Inter Milan celebrate the only goal in their match against Lyon. Reuters

The city's weather bureau issued a red heatwave alert earlier in the day, ordering all outdoor work in the city to be stopped as temperatures hit 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), although the mercury dropped by the start of the match.

There was little action until the 19th minute, when Lyon’s Bertrand Traore let fly from around 20 metres out only for the ball to narrowly sail over the bar.

There were also missed opportunities for the French side's Mariano and Ferland Mendy.

Inter pulled ahead in the 75th minute when Joao Mario broke down the right flank. The Portuguese midfielder squared the ball to an unmarked Stevan Jovetic, who scored the only goal of the match.

After the final whistle, the Inter players held up a banner in Chinese that read: "All of the world is one family - thank you for your support" in front of a delighted crowd.

China retailing giant Suning bankrolls Inter, having snapped up a majority stake in the celebrated Italian club last year.

Published Date: Jul 24, 2017 21:26 PM | Updated Date: Jul 24, 2017 21:26 PM

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