With both national teams fielding nothing more than b-teams, as their senior squads were in action in the Asian Cup qualifiers in the same week, a strong attacking display assured that Hong Kong retained the Hong Kong-Macau Interport trophy for the sixth consecutive year with a comfortable 4-0 win over neighbours Macau.
Hong Kong came into the game seeking their 57th Interport victory and the home side got off to a perfect start within the first two minutes when a James Ha cross fell to Lam Hok-hei who rolled the ball back for Lau Ho-lam who spectacularly drilled the leather into the corner with a beautifully struck half-volley.
A weak Macau team sat back while attempting to outnumber Hong Kong in their own half, but a fast counter attack caught Macau off guard as Lau once again cut into the box only to be tripped, prompting the referee to award a soft penalty for Hong Kong. Michael Luk never looked in doubt as he stepped up to the penalty and the Southern midfielder confidently placed the ball down the middle of the goal to double Hong Kong’s lead to 2-0.
The heavy pollution that day did not stop the Hong Kong faithful coming out in full force to support their team at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground and they were quickly rewarded yet again with a third goal as Lam Hok-hei Lam put the ball into the far corner with ease.
Macau’s defensive efforts were not rewarded and an aerial weakness was clearly identified by the home side, with James Ha becoming the supplier of many crosses into the box. Ha’s tormenting work eventually cracked the Macau defence as Fong Pak-lun rose to head the ball towards keeper Ho Man-fai. But the only could push it back to Lam Hok-hei who found no trouble in doubling his score tally by blasting the ball into the net from close range to provide Hong Kong with a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Macau came out in the second half looking to lock up their leaky defence with substitutions, bringing on experienced defender Kong Cheng Ho and young midfielder Pang Zhihang. The greens gained some momentum as they often found themselves in and around the Hong Kong box and looked as if they may steal the clean sheet away from Southern keeper Tse Tak-him. Macau’s best chance of the half came when Carlos Leonel’s header floated over Tse and into the far corner, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul.
Hong Kong continued to press throughout the second half, but were denied twice by the post and from some bold saves by Macau keeper Ho Man-fai, maintaining the deficit at 4-0. Macau also pushed to pull back a goal in the second half but the defensive partnership of brothers Leung Nok-hang and Leung Kwun-chung proved too strong for the Macau attack, providing a clean sheet for the home side.
Date: Saturday 2nd September, 2017 (3 pm)
Stadium: Sham Shui Po Sports Ground