League

Eastern collect first points of the season

On November 5th, Eastern got their first league victory of the season, when beating Yuen Long 0-3 away, with a goal from Jaimes Mckee and a brace from Michel Lugo. The Tangerines suffered their third league defeat in a row and dropped to seventh position after R&F’s 2-1 win over Dreams earlier that day. 

Aleksandr Kokko started for Eastern, as Manuel Bleda had to pause once again due to an injury, while Leung Chun-pong began ahead of Bai He in the defensive midfield. At the same time, Yuen Long were facing serious injury and suspension problem and were only able to field two of their foreign aids in the starting lineup.

Both sides played with caution in the first half and were reluctant to press forward. Eastern had a few attempts on goal from corners and set-pieces, the closest being Victor Saba’s header in the 15th minute, which was cleared by Yuen Long defenders. Meanwhile the Tangerines relied heavily on Everton Camargo to produce chances, but his only breakthrough in the 19th minute was saved by Yapp Hung-fai from close range.

Eastern had a few more chances towards the end of the first half. At the 40th minute, Victor Saba’s freekick was saved by Chan Ka-ho, and two minutes later, Kokko held up the ball in the penalty area and set up Saba for a shot at the edge of the box, but the Brazilian’s attempt was well saved by Chan Ka-ho. Kokko had another chance from the left side of the box, but his shot went wide to the left side of the post. As a result, both teams returned to their dressing rooms with no goals scored in the first 45 minutes.

Eastern made a tactical substitution at the start of the second half, with Jaimes Mckee replacing Cheng King-ho, while moving Xu Deshuai to the right back position. Like the first half, Yuen Long basically only relied on Camargo to break the deadlock, but his freekick at the 47th minute and long shot from outside the box at the 58th minute both missed the target.

As the game progressed, Jaimes McKee’s work rate and pace turned into a problem for Yuen Long’s defense. Making it worse, Yuen Long captain Fabio was replaced by Yu Wai-lim because of injury, and the deadlock was finally broken at the 70th minute, when a Kokko cross found McKee who put it behind Chan Ka-ho to score his first goal of the season.

Yuen Long tried to react and pressed higher up the pitch. In addition, coach Tsang Chiu-tat put on Aleksandar Randelovic to get an equalizer, but no real chance was produced. Meanwhile, Mckee and Michel Lugo proved to be a continuous threat in the attack. Soon, Lugo’s curling shot from outside the box extended Eastern’s lead to two goals. Yuen Long defense was to be blamed, as no one was closing Lugo down at the edge of the box, allowing him all the time he needed to take the shot. Lugo got another goal to his name in the 90th minute, when Xu Deshuai’s cross found the Brazilian unmarked at the far post, who then hit it past Chan Ka-ho.

As a result of their first win of the season, Eastern climbed to the ninth position in the league, while the Tangerines dropped to seventh.

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