League

Kitchee fall behind after dramatic draw with Yuen Long

Photo: HKFA

In the fourth week of the Premier League, Southern continued their perfect start to the season with a 1-0 win over Tai Po, while Yuen Long pulled off a spectacular draw with current champions Kitchee with an injury-time equalizer. There were also wins for Pegasus, Eastern and R&F. Southern remained on top of the table after winning all four matches so far. Meanwhile, Hoi King are still at the bottom without a single point.

Lee Man’s bad start to the season continued after they were hammered by Pegasus in a 0-4 defeat. In the ninth minute, a long ball by Walter Junior found Travis Major who overpowered Fran Gonzalez to put the ball past Yuen Ho-chun. Despite falling behind, Lee Man continued with their short-pass possession play, but only managed a single shot on goal in the first half. The Bees quickly conceded another goal just two minutes into the second half, when Walter displayed brilliant skill to go past Wong YimkKwan before dribbling into the box for a powerful shot right under the bar. Two minutes after that, Joao Emir’s cross found Walter once again who set up Liu Pui-fung. His shot was first blocked by Yuen Ho-chun, but the local forward managed another to extend Pegasus’ lead to three. Lee Man had a number of chances, the closest being Fran Gonzalez’ header but, it was cleared off the line by Cheung Kwok-ming. The Flying Horsemen got a fourth goal in the 82nd minute, when man of the match Walter Junior delivered a cross, which Lee Man defender Crescendo van Berkel put into his own goal. As a result, Pegasus celebrated their first a win in the first match of new head coach Chan Ho-yin.

On Saturday, October 6th, Southern beat Tai Po with a last-minute goal from James Ha. The game was played in Mongk Kok  Stadium because of serious damage to Aberdeen Sports Ground inflicted by typhoon Mangkhut. Southern took a conservative approach to the game, which allowed Tai Po several chances to open the scoreline, but the Greens’ attempts mostly failed to find the target. In the second half, Dhiego Martins was given a second yellow when he allegedly hit Wong Wai, after the Tai Po captain had held him back during a counter attack. With one man more on the pitch, Tai Po continued to pressure for a goal, but Au Yeung Yiu-chung’s shot from close range and later on a header were both well saved by Tse Tak-him. The Southern keeper was brilliant throughout the entire game and was the main reason why Southern kept a clean sheet. In added time, James Ha overpowered Fung Hing-wa to get the ball in the midfield, who then dribbled all the way into the box to hit it into the bottom left corner to give the Aberdeeners their fourth consecutive win.

Meanwhile, Eastern continued their good start to the season with a comfortable 4-0 win over Dreams at the Hong Kong Stadium. Just eight minutes after kickoff, an error by Wong Chi-chung allowed Lam Ka-wai to get the ball deep inside of the opponents’ half, setting up Manuel Bleda to open the scoreline for the Blues. In the 32nd minute, Lam Ka-wai’s overhead pass found Manuel Bleda once again, who hit a fierce shot past Tse Ka-wing. In the 45th minute, it was Lam Ka-wai again who exploited Tse Ka-wing’s poor clearance to set up Manuel Bleda, who bagged a hat-trick just before the end of the first half. Dreams’ performance did not improve after that, and Eastern got their fourth goal when Pablo Gallardo was dispossessed at the edge of the box. The ball fell to Tse Long-hin, whose shot initially hit the post, but he still managed to put the rebound past Tse Ka-wing.

On Sunday, R&F managed a comfortable win over Hoi King. As expected, R&F had a number of threatening shots on target, but it took them half an hour to open the scoreline, when Giovane da Silva set up Lam Zhi-gin, who hit a fierce shot past Paulo Ceasar. 13 minutes into the second half, a close-range header by Itaparica extended R&F’s lead to two. A good one-two between Giovane da Silva and Lam Zhi-gin just two minutes later allowed Lam to get his second goal of the day. Giovane’s long shot in the 82nd minute further extended R&F’s lead. Hoi King got a penalty when Seo Sangmin was tripped inside the box, but his attempt was saved by Zhou Yuchen. That was not the end though, as Tan Chun-lok’s long shot went in off the bar during added time, securing R&F a comfortable 5-0 win over the Kingsmen.

In what was probably the best match of the weekend, on Sunday evening, October 7th, Yuen Long managed an impressive comeback against Kitchee, after being already two goals down.  In the eleventh minute, Lucas Silva managed to put the ball into the net, despite pressure from Tomas Maronesi. Soon after the Tangerines had their first chance, when Cleiton’s freekick found Fabio Alcantara’s head, but Wang Zhenpeng provided a good save to deny the Yuen Long captain. In the 32nd minute, Lucas’ pass found Fernando at the right side of the box, and the shot by the Brazilian winger was successful, although Yip Ka-yu managed to get a touch on it. This gave the Bluewaves a two-goal lead before heading into the changing rooms for half time. It seemed like a sure win for Kitchee at that point, but Yuen Long had other plans. In the 60th minute, Cleiton’s cross was initially blocked by Recio, but the ball fell to Chan Hiu-fung who scored from close range. Kitchee got chances to extend their lead, but Lucas’ shot went wide and Fernando’s shot was blocked by Yip Ka-yu. Meanwhile Yuen Long pressured for the equalizer, but Diego Moser’s chip was cleared off the line by Recio. However, the patience paid off eventually. In added time, Kessi managed to score, benefiting from a chaotic moment inside the Kitchee box. Law Chun-ting was given a second yellow card for a late challenge on Lucas, but that had no impact on the final scoreline of 2-2.

Match results

Pegasus 4:0 Lee Man (October 5th, 20:00pm, Mong Kok Stadium, Attendance: 851)

Southern 1:0 Tai Po (October 6th, 2:30pm, Mong Kok Stadium, Attendance: 1246)

Eastern 4:0 Dreams (October 6th, 5:30pm, Hong Kong Stadium, Attendance: 1028)

Hoi King 0:5 R&F (October 7th, 2:30pm, Sham Shui Po Sports Ground, Attendance: 511)

Yuen Long 2:2 Kitchee (October 7th, 5:30pm, Yuen Long Stadium, Attendance: 1401)

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