Hong Kong side Kitchee desperately needed a victory to keep their chance alive to qualify for the next round of the AFC Cup, following consecutive losses in their first two games. On May 1st, the Bluewaves earned their first three points after defeating Hang Yuen of Taiwan 3-0 at Mong Kok Stadium in front of 1,797 spectators.
It took the host only eight minutes to break the scoreless tie. Jordi Tarres benefitted from the rebound of Krisztian Vadocz’s shot and tallied his first goal of the tournament with his header.
With the lead, Kitchee clearly had the upper hand over the visitors. They constantly mounted the pressure, however, their hard work failed to convert into creating clear-cut chances. They had to wait until the 41st minute, when they nearly doubled their lead. Ju Yingzhi was unmarked outside the penalty area, but his strike was denied by the crossbar. On the other hand, the visitors depended on set pieces to find opportunities, but they were hardly threatening.
After switching sides, Jordi thought he had his second of the night, but he was ruled offside before the ball went in the net. Seeing the team stuck with a thin lead, coach Alex Chu decided to put on Shinichi Chan and Cheng Chin-lung, in hope to increase the team’s offensive strength. And that worked out at the back end of the game, when Cheng slotted home on a breakaway after receiving a pass from Fernando. Right before the end of the game, the Brazilian winger, who missed an wide open net earlier, wrapped up the three-goal rout with his second in the campaign.
With the win, Kitchee now have three points with three games to play, still trailing April 25 and Tai Po, who have nine and six points respectively. Hang Yuen are at the bottom of the table, pointless after three outings.
The next match day will be held in two weeks time. Kitchee pay a return visit to the Taiwanese club in Taipei, while the North Korean side host Tai Po in Pyongyang.
Photos by Zinc Yeung