On November 26th, Tai Po celebrated their second win in the Sapling Cup group stage over Yuen Long after goals from Igor Sartori, Chak Ting-fung and Andy Russell. Meanwhile, Yuen Long suffered their fourth consecutive loss and remain at the bottom of group A. Around 490 people came to Hammer Hill Road Sports Ground to witness the second New Territories derby of the season.
As expected, Tai Po started the match as the dominant side and the Greens opened the scoreline just five minutes into the game when Igor Sartori delivered a long shot from 25 yards straight into the lower left corner. The Brazilian striker had another chance inside the penalty area ten minutes later when he was found by a through-ball, but his shot went wide.
In the 19th minute, Wong Wai broke through at the right flank and his low cross met Chak Ting-fung, who was unmarked at the far post and only had to put the ball into the empty net, extending Tai Po’s lead to two goals. Six minutes later, Wong Wai’s corner found Andy Russell who finished with a close-range header. Yuen Long’s goalkeeper Pang Tsz-kin had a touch on the ball, but the bar deflected it back into the goal.
Despite having a three-goal lead at that point, Tai Po continued to press on and Yuen Long still struggled to even produce a shot on goal. Everton Camargo took a few long shots from outside the box, but all of his attempts were far off target.
Yuen Long’ closest chance to score came in injury time of the first half. Everton Camargo was found by an overhead pass and managed to retain possession under pressure from Tai Po defenders, but his shot was blocked. Not long after that, Everton delivered a cross to Yu Wai-lim, but his header was saved by Tsang Man-fai.
The Tangerines were more active in the second half, but still failed to produce a lot of chances. Meanwhile, Tai Po had a few more opportunities. In the 62nd minute David Lazari took aim, but his free kick was saved by Pang Tsz-kin. Two minutes later substitute Yuen Chun-sing made his first mark of the game, but his shot from the edge of the box went over the bar.
Yuen Long coach Tsang Chiu-tat put on Fabio Lopes for the last 20 minutes, taking up the unusual role as centre forward in the hope to get something out of the match. Fabio’s presence allowed Yuen Long to show a bigger threat in front of the goal. Everton’s freekick in the 75th minute went just above the bar, and a few moments later Fabio’s header missed the goal only by inches.
As the match came to an end, the Tangerines had several more chances, but Lau Ka-ming’s shot in the 82nd minute went wide and Walter Soares only hit the side of the net. Meanwhile, one of Tai Po’s youngsters, Wong Cho-sum almost increased the lead, but missed the goal.
With their second victory in the Sapling Cup, Tai Po remain on the top of group A, while Yuen Long are now at the bottom. Both teams will meet each other again in the Premier League on December 10th, which will also be the first home game for Tai Po in this season.