With two rounds of fixtures remaining, Kitchee successfully defended their Hong Kong Premier League title after a 1-0 win over runners up Pegasus on Friday night, April 13th, at Mong Kok Stadium. Lucas Silva’s goal in the 4th minute proved to be what the Bluewaves needed to secure that title for the second year in a row. A crowd of 2,759 witnessed the championship decider.
Just four minutes into the game, Andreas Lam Zhi-gin provided a pin-point cross down the right side that found Lucas unmarked at the six-yard area. The league’s top scorer easily struck one past Leung Hing-kit for the only tally of the game.
With that, Kitchee looked to build on the lead while in search for some insurance. A handful of good opportunities were produced but squandered in particular by Lucas, whose best chance came in the 29th minute, when he faced the goalkeeper alone in the box, but lobbed the ball over the crossbar. Later on, a power drive from Vadocz missed the target by an inch.
On the other other side, one of the best chances for the Flying Horsemen came three minutes before the break, when Siu Chun-ming fired an unexpected strike from some 20 yards away, but he was denied by the crossbar.
In the second half, Kitchee also struck the goal frame twice. Jared Lum’s free kick from the left deviated off a Pegasus defender to sail towards the net, but came off the far post. Then, Lucas’ close-range shot hit the bar in the 63rd minute. Yeung Ching-kwong’s side, who had to defeat Kitchee to remain in the contending race, had some dominating moments in the second half. However, they failed to at least get an equalizer past Wang Zhenpeng.
With the victory, Kitchee reigned their ninth league title in history, tying the defunct Seiko as runners-up behind record-winners South China. Their focus now switches to Asian Champions League as they will face Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors for the final group match next Wednesday in Jeonju, South Korea.
Photos by Zinc Yeung