The 2019 Senior Shield competition kicked off with the first-round on Thursday, September 20th. Dreams needed a penalty shootout to eliminate Pegasus with a final score of 5-3 (1-1). On the following night, Friday, September 21st, Tai Po easily defeated newcomers Hoi King 5-0 to advance to the quarter finals, thanks to Harrison Sawyer’s hat-trick in his club debut.
In the opening match, Pegasus took control right from the start, resulting in Walter Junior’s header that ended up in the back of the net, just eight minutes into the game. However, Dreams gradually managed to come back. A 30-yard power strike by Lam Hin-ting almost tied things up before the break, but it only hit the woodwork. Pegasus started playing more defensively and midway through the second half coach Pedro Garcia decided to take off both Junior and play-maker Joao Emir. Nonetheless, Dreams were soon back in the game, when Leung Tsz-chun provided a terrific cross to Nacho Martinez, whose header beat Leung Hing-kit for the deserved equalizer in the 77th minute. As neither team was able to score another goal, this meant that the game had to go into extra time. That’s when the Flying Horsemen suffered another blow, as Cheung Kwok-ming was sent off after receiving his second booking of the night for a late tackle on Lui Man-tik. However, Pegasus almost finished off the opposition in the last play of extra-time, when the referee pointed on the penalty spot. However, Japanese striker Shu Sasaki failed to convert it and the game had to be decided via a penalty shootout. Dreams goalkeeper Tse Ka-wing became the hero of the neight after saving both shots from Rosen Kolev and Shu Sasaki, while his teammates maintained a perfect record in four attempts. It was an encouraging victory for Dreams and their win in this calendar year.
In the second match of the Senior Shield preliminary round, Tai Po totally dominated the whole game, continuously pressuring Hoi King to make errors. The 21-year-old Australian striker Harrison Sawyer made his first appearance in the Hong Kong circuit and it was also him who broke the scoreless deadlock after intercepting Au Man-lok’s clumsy clearance in the six-yard box. In the 39th minute the Greens added to their score, when Philip Chan tapped in from close range to make it 2-0. Sawyer’s second of the night came after the break, when he was presented with a cross by Igor Sartori that he skillfully headed into the goal. The young Australian completed the hat-trick one minute before regular time. Brazilian forward Sartori earned another assist by supplying the free kick. Eduardo Praes finished off the 5-0 rout by slotting one home during injury time. Unfortunately for Hoi King, their first ever cup journey turned out to be very short. In fact, they only managed to register their first shot on target in the 67th minute, when Kitchee loanee Sebastian Buddle made a courageous attempt. .
By reaching the quarter-finals, Dreams will face Kitchee at Mong Kok Stadium while Tai Po will meet Southern at Tsing Yi Sports Ground on Sunday, October 28th.
Dreams 5:3 (1:1) Pegasus (September 20th, 8pm, Mongkok Stadium, Attendance: 614)
Tai Po 5:0 Hoi King (September 21st, 8pm, Mong Kok Stadium, attendance: 768)