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With Southern taking a break from the Premier League action this weekend, we asked midfielder Emmet Wan to give us his predictions for Sunday’s results.


(2:30pm, Hammer Hill Sports Ground)

Wong Tai Sin currently sit second-from-bottom in the league, and will face a stern test against big spenders Eastern, who can move 4 points clear of South China and Kitchee if they can secure victory. However, Wong Tai Sin have had some impressive performances this term, including grinding out a 0:0 draw against last year’s champions Kitchee, and Emmet feels that their tenacity could be enough to stop Eastern‘s charge at the top.

I think Wong Tai Sin can surprise them. They’re a fighting side but Eastern have a lot of quality, so I’m going for a draw”.

PREDICTION: 2:2 draw


(5:30pm, Yuen Long Stadium)

This match is a significant one for both teams, as Yuen Long and Rangers are in real trouble at the bottom of the table. Scoring has been a real problem, with the home team having scored only four goals in the league whilst the visitors find themselves bottom having only scored twice. To make matters worse, Yuen Long have conceded 19 goals, more than any other team in the league, but Emmet has predicted a close encounter between the two and finds it difficult to choose a winner.

“Both teams could get a result here, and it will be an interesting game to watch. I think it will be a tight game so I’m going to go for a draw here as well.”

PREDICTION: 1:1 draw

Thanks to Emmet Wan and Southern Football Club for this week’s predictions!

Domestic Cups Photos

Eastern Glory – Canbo Senior Shield 2016 Photo Gallery

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The Shield itself

In probably what was Hong Kong’s coldest day in recent living memory, big spenders Eastern proved that it was money well spent by picking up their first major trophy of the season, namely the Canbo Senior Shield.

In windswept conditions and biting rain, both teams struggled to produce a game of real quality or fluency. Regardless, 4500 or so loyal supporters still showed up to cheer on their respective teams. After a first half where Southern dominated but failed to convert chances, the game was settled in the second half with goals from Xu Deshuai and Andrew Barisic for a final score of 2-0.

More significantly,  it was a milestone for Eastern’s coach, Chan Yuen-ting, who has won her first title after only a short period of time in charge.

Photos by Christopher KL Lau and JRP Borthwick 

Domestic Cups News


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On what was the coldest day in Hong Kong for over six decades, Southern and Eastern faced each in the 116th Senior Shield final, as 4,557 fans braved the wintery conditions to make the trip to Hong Kong Stadium to watch the fiery encounter. For the Aberdeeners, this was their first major cup final since their inception, whilst the blues were looking to take home the shield for a tenth time – a record surpassed only by South China who have thirty one titles to their name in this competition. Jeff Hardbattle was there to round-up all of the talking points from the match.


(Eastern goalscorers: Xu Deshuai ’61; Barisic 85′)

(Match report by Jeff Hardbattle)

Make no mistake about it – Eastern are flying at the moment. Yet to lose under head coach Chan Yuen-ting and firmly in control of the race to win the Premier League title, their fans were anxious to see whether their team could retain the Senior Shield under the weight of expectation.

To do so, they needed to get past a Southern side that have been in good form of late and have only lost one of their last ten matches in all competitions. They currently sit 4th in the Premier League, and players such as James Ha indicated in the pre-match build-up just how much they wanted to bring home the club’s first piece of silverware, with the former also commenting “Our form and confidence are both on a high and I can guarantee that Eastern will have their hands full on Sunday afternoon”.

He was not wrong, as Southern frustrated their opponents for large parts of the first half and were comfortably able to deal with Eastern‘s attacking potency up front. The opening 45 minutes offered little in terms of high-energy football, and goalkeepers Tse Tak-him and Yapp Hung-fai were not required to be called into action too often in the early exchanges. In truth, it was actually the underdogs who had the better of the scoring chances, asking questions of the Eastern defence on a couple of occasions with Shay Spitz (13′) and Emmet Wan (35’) having efforts on goal that were comfortably saved by Yapp Hung-fai, but nevertheless gave a strong sign Southern had not shown up to simply make up the numbers.

In the 36th minute, disaster nearly struck for the blues after Michael Luk picked up the ball and powerfully drove a low ball into the Eastern box that eluded their defenders, with Wellingsson de Souza lurking at the far post waiting to strike. The Brazilian was able to stretch out his leg to get something on the ball, but his effort went just wide of the left-hand post.

Tempers were starting to fray between players from both teams, and there were several altercations particularly in the first half that meant that the referee had a busy afternoon, dishing out a total of 7 yellow cards over the course of the 90 minutes to Diaz, Luk, Maronesi and Spitz of Southern and Moreira, Barisic and Lo Chi-kwan of Eastern.

With the blues’ introduction of Michel Lugo fairly early in the second half, they began to gradually assert their dominance. The deadlock was finally broken in the 61st minute after Hong Kong national team midfielder Xu Deshuai produced a moment of sheer class for Eastern, when he curled a free kick into the top left corner from well outside of the 18 yard box to send his team’s fans into raptures and make it 1:0.

Andrew Barisic then missed a glorious chance in the 80th minute, when he sliced the ball wide from close range, but he more than made up for it five minutes later. Xu Deshuai was again the catalyst, delivering an excellent ball into the box for the Australian who did well to lose his marker, and he headed the ball home into the bottom right corner for his 9th goal of the season and with it sealing a 2:0 victory for Eastern for their tenth Senior Shield title.

Head coach Chan Yuen-ting stated after the game that although the Premier League was their priority, she wanted her team to savour this latest triumph for now and then turn their focus towards their weekend away trip to Wong Tai Sin. On this showing, Southern are also still on course to have a hugely successful season, but they didn’t have quite enough on the day to stop the wave of royal blue that is slowly starting to flood over the local football scene.

DATE AND TIME: 3pm, Sunday 24th January, 2016

STADIUM: Hong Kong Stadium



In the other matches over the weekend, South China defeated Dreams by 3:1 on Friday night with early goals from Luiz Carlos (13′) and Awal (20′). Li Ka-chun managed to pull one back for Dreams (37′), but Australian striker Ryan Griffiths put the victory beyond doubt (65′) to leave the Caroliners qualifying for the next round as runners-up of Group B.

On Saturday, Pegasus managed to overcome Wong Tai Sin at Mong Kok Stadium, winning by 1:0 thanks to a 17th minute goal from Dheigo de Souza. The result means that Pegasus go through as winners of the Group, whilst Dreams and Wong Tai Sin bow out of the competition for this year.

Team Game Win Draw Loss Goal Gain Goal Loss Goal Diff Point
1 Pegasus (Q) 3 2 1 0 3 0 3 7
2 South China (Q) 3 2 0 1 5 4 1 6
3 Wong Tai Sin 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3
4 Dreams 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1
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With current table-toppers Eastern taking a break for the week, the teams just below them in the Premier League would have been desperate to make up some ground to try and improve their own title aspirations, whilst at the bottom all three relegation candidates were in action in a bid to try and put some breathing space between themselves and the drop.
This year’s surprise package Southern kicked things off as they faced Yuen Long, with the latter currently in 7th place and just one point ahead of the bottom two teams. Kitchee then faced Dreams as they looked to try and claw their way back into the title race despite being 5 points off the pace and having played a game more.
On Sunday, Pegasus were finally able to play their first home game at Hong Kong Stadium after some pitch renovation work when they took on second-from-bottom Wong Tai Sin, who only sit above the foot of the table due to goal difference. The weekend fixtures were rounded-off by bottom club Rangers, as they looked to cause an upset over South China who currently pose the biggest threat to Eastern‘s title charge. Jeff Hardbattle and Tobias Zuser round-up all of the action.


(Southern goalscorers: Da Silva (OG) ’62; Maronesi 83′)

(Match report by Jeff Hardbattle)

With Southern‘s impending Senior Shield Final match on the horizon, one could have been forgiven for thinking that coach Ricky Cheng might have opted to rest some of his players, but with the Aberdeeners flying high there was no sign that Yuen Long were going to be given any kind of easier ride, with goalkeeper Wong Tsz Him being the only change made to their starting eleven. The visitors were in desperate need of something from this game with the New Territories club now looking set to be in the relegation mix come May, and alarmingly had conceded 17 goals already before this match even began – more than any other team in the league.

Yuen Long, though, probably had the better chances of the first half in what was largely a forgettable opening 45 minutes. Stefan Pereira came closest eight minutes before half time, when he stormed into the box after receiving a lovely pass from the right of the park, only for him to shoot agonizingly wide of the right-hand post.

The hosts had more about them in the second half, and with the introduction of new signing Paul Ngue from Dreams, their attacking intent became even more apparent. Less than ten minutes later, disaster struck for Yuen Long after a cross into the box from Wellingsson de Souza saw defender Luciano Silva da Silva connect with the ball, allowing it to creep into his own net at the far post to make it 1:0 to Southern.

The away side may have felt that they had a way back into the game when in the 82nd minute, substitute Paul Ngue was shown a red card to reduce the Aberdeeners to ten men.
But a minute later, it was all over, as a corner was guided on to the far post from a back header by Jose Diaz, allowing Tomas Maronesi to ram the ball home with an expertly-executed scissor kick to seal the points for Southern.

Southern now sit in 4th and are level on points with Pegasus, just 3 points behind Kitchee in 3rd. Yuen Long still remain in danger and continue to occupy 7th place, just one point ahead of both Wong Tai Sin and Rangers respectively.

DATE AND TIME: 2:30pm, Saturday 16th January, 2016

STADIUM: Aberdeen Sports Ground



(Kitchee goalscorers: Matthew Lam 14′)
(Dreams goalscorers: Leung Kwok Wai 90’+4′)

(Match report by Tobias Zuser)

More than 900 people found their way to Mong Kok Stadium on this rainy Saturday afternoon to watch Kitchee attempt to keep their hopes for the championship alive. With a bye-week for Eastern, who used this time for an intensive training camp in Mainland China, Abraham Garcia’s men saw a perfect opportunity to reduce the margin and bring themselves back into the race for the title. However, it was clear that it wouldn’t be an easy task against newcomers Dreams, who had already beaten Kitchee 2:1 in the first half of the Premier League season.

After the unexpected loss to an inspired Rangers squad in the Sapling Cup group stage, in which Garcia fielded a mediocre B-team, Kitchee didn’t want to leave anything to chance for this game, which resulted into a terrific start for the hosts. Just 14 minutes into the game, Lam Ka Wai found Matthew Lam, who hammered the ball from more than 15 meters into the goal, making it 1:0 for the sky blues. Briefly after that, Brazilian winger and fan hero Fernando almost added to the score, but his volleyed shot missed the target. However, the last few minutes of the first half belonged to Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng, who proved his skill with impressive saves against Kenji Fukuda and Dreams captain Chu Siu Kei.

The audience in Mong Kok was also not left disappointed during the second half, when both teams showed some fantastic play. While the Kitchee forwards were to blame themselves, with Fernando missing out in a promising one-on-one situation by a lack of timing, goalkeeper Wang also played his part in keeping the Dreams squad feeling frustrated. Unfortunately, the match was then overshadowed by a controversial decision in the 85th minute, as Sandro was brought down in the penalty box, but referee Ng Chiu Kok booked the naturalized Hong Kong Representative Team player for diving. Unsurprisingly, these are then often the games with a twist in the end. Three minutes into stoppage time, Dreams used the confusion to their advantage when the game continued despite an injured field player and Leung Kwok Wai headed in a last minute equalizer for a not undeserved draw.

After dropping points again in the league, Kitchee will hardly play any role for defending the league title, leaving both Eastern and South China with the better odds in the race. Dreams on the other hand are on the way to becoming a feared opponent against the sky blues have yet to be beaten by them.

DATE AND TIME: 5:30pm, Saturday 16th January, 2016

STADIUM: Mong Kok Stadium



(Pegasus goalscorers: Adrovic 19′, 83′)

(Match report by Tobias Zuser)

There was one particular thing that added some excitement to the Sunday game between Pegasus and Wong Tai Sin – the first football game in the 2015/16 football season taking place at over-sized Hong Kong Stadium after a drawn-out turf renewal that had led to the relocation of the highly anticipated World Cup Qualifying match against China. Although Pegasus had displaced South China from their Caroline Hill neighborhood, they had to wait until January to play their first game on their newly claimed home soil. To be fair, the pitch condition was indeed excellent, despite heavy rain showers earlier in the day. Unfortunately only 500 people came to watch the premiere at Hong Kong Stadium that day, putting the attendance at a meager 1.25% of the 40,000 capacity.

Since early this year, the Pegasus coach duo Lee Chi Kin and Man Pei Tak have put their trust into 21-year old goalkeeper Yuen Ho Chun instead of foreign aid Kristijan Naumovski, and Yuen paid back their faith once again within the first few minutes when he saved smartly from an attempt from South Korean Yoon Donghun. Shortly afterwards, Tsang Man Fai did the same for Wong Tai Sin, when he tipped the ball over the bar. However, in the 19th minute Tsang stood no chance against a header by Montenegrin striker Admir Adrovic, making it 1:0 for the home side. While the first half still had some promising moments for the small crowd in the stands, the following 45 minutes were moderate at best in quality. Wong Tai Sin tried to find their way back into the game, but failed to produce anything potent when attacking. It was therefore not very surprising when Adrovic put the game to rest in the 83rd minute, with his second goal in the match and his seventh goal of the season, being now just one goal short of league top scorer Andrew Barisic.

After their solid but unglamorous victory, Pegasus are now only three points behind Kitchee, and at eye-level with both Southern and Dreams. Wong Tai Sin, on the other hand, missed the chance to escape from their fierce relegation battle with Rangers and Yuen Long.

DATE AND TIME: 2:30pm, Sunday 17th January, 2016

STADIUM: Hong Kong Stadium



(South China goalscorers: Cheung Kin Fung 20′; Awal 43′)

(Match report by Jeff Hardbattle)

Despite their recent strong performances in the cup competitions, Rangers found themselves at the bottom of the pile heading into today’s game and in real danger of facing relegation to the First Division. Indeed, they have managed just 2 goals in the league this season, and after their performance in this match it is even more abundantly clear as to the area they need to strengthen. South China on the other hand, were looking to take advantage of their miserable league form to both keep the pressure on Eastern at the top and to solidify their position in 2nd after Kitchee failed to attain a win over Dreams.

The Caroliners looked to put the home side to the sword early, and they nearly did so when new signing Felix Borja picked up a long throw-in from Cheung Kin Fung and acrobatically unleashed a bicycle-kick, but the ball crashed off the woodwork to save Rangers‘ this time around.

But South China weren’t to be discouraged, and in the 20th minute they were ahead as Cheung Kin Fung stepped up to curl a fabulous free kick just outside of the 18-yard-box around the Rangers wall into the bottom-left corner, to leave goalkeeper Paolo Cesar with no chance and make it 1:0.

The hosts did manage to create a couple of decent chances, with probably the best of those in the 34th minute when Hui Wang Fui threaded an excellent pass through to Hui Ka Lok, whose shot was on target but goalkeeper Christian Mora was equal to it.

The Caroliners then managed to double their lead just two minutes before the end of the first half, after a lovely chip over the Rangers defence from Chan Siu Ki found Mahama Awal completely unmarked, and the Cameroonian made no mistake and gleefully smashed the ball home to make the score 2:0.

Both sides traded chances in the second half, but the scoreline remained the same and Rangers are now in real danger of facing the drop. They will next be in action on the 31st January away to Yuen Long, in what will be a real six pointer of a game. South China move 3 points clear of Kitchee in 3rd sit a point behind leaders Eastern, though the latter have played a game less.

DATE AND TIME: 5:30pm, Sunday 17th January, 2016

STADIUM: Kowloon Bay Park



Team Game Win Draw Loss Goal Gain Goal Loss Goal Diff Point
1 Eastern 7 6 1 0 16 5 11 19
2 South China 8 6 0 2 16 8 8 18
3 Kitchee 8 4 3 1 15 6 9 15
4 Southern 8 3 3 2 15 10 5 12
5 Pegasus 8 3 3 2 12 10 2 12
6 Dreams 9 3 2 4 11 18 -7 11
7 Yuen Long 8 0 4 4 7 19 -12 4
8 Wong Tai Sin 8 0 3 5 4 12 -8 3
9 Rangers 8 0 3 5 2 10 -8 3
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