Football, at times, could be a game of mistake. The Flying Horsemen learned that lesson on Sunday, October 29th, after surrendering in a heartbreaking 4-0 defeat to Kitchee in the Sapling Cup Group B match at Mong Kok Stadium.
At the 50th minute, when it was still a 0-0 draw, a harmless kick reached just outside the Pegasus penalty box. Centre-back Travis Major and goalkeeper Yuen Ho-chun hesitated on who would take care of it, but Kitchee’s Sandro, coming from behind, took the loose ball and literally delivered it to an empty net.
Prior to sloppy play, the Flying Horsemen have executed their game plan, matching the opponents in most of the aspects. Using a 4-4-2 formation to counter Kitchee’s 3-4-3, they created some threatening chances in the first half, but failed to capitalize on them.
Striker Igor Nedeljkovic had two of the best opportunities in the game. During the first half, his lob over goalkeeper Guo Jianqiao missed the net by inches. Later, his left-footed missile, aiming at the bottom left corner, was only denied by Guo’s spectacular save.
In similar fashion, Fernando, as Nedelkjovic’s counterpart, outdueled right-back Wu Chun-ming on several occasions to initiate opportunities for teammates Alex Akande and Sandro. However, the Bluewaves came up empty as well.
Along with key defender Rosen Kolev, who left the game right before half-time due to injury, the first goal Pegasus conceded started a domino effect as they got caught up twice again in a span of just five minutes. Akande scored after stealing the ball from Major at the edge of the penalty area. Merely two minutes later, Akande benefited from a turnover after a Pegasus corner, then ran with the ball at full thrust for at least 50 yards, played a long one-two with Sebastian Buddle, and finished off Yuen for a 3-0 lead.
The Bluewaves completed their four-goal performance in the 77th minute, when late-substitute 18-year-old Robert Stamp took advantage of an unguarded net.
In front of a crowd of 1,173, Kitchee’s youngsters Barak Braunshtain and Sebastian Buddle, who started the game to fulfill the Sapling Cup’s U22 criteria, fared well in their season debut. It is also worth noting that Kim Dongjin, sidelined since last season’s injury, entered at the end of the match, while Lam Zhi-gin also made his first appearance after missing three weeks of actions due to an eye infection.