Pegasus snatched victory from Southern last Saturday, after an on-target spot kick from new signing Igor Nedeljkovic saw them claim only their second win in their last eight competitive matches. Tensions had boiled over on several occasions with the referee dishing out two red cards to players from the home side, dashing their hopes of starting the season strongly. Jeff Hardbattle rounds up the match.
Southern have plenty of cause for optimism this season, and looked to live up to their billing as dark horses for this year’s title by handing starts to two of their promising new signings – namely ex-Fulham and QPR defender Zesh Rehman and Spanish midfielder Carles Martinez.
Pegasus endured a somewhat torrid season last year, and were also active in the transfer window this summer. They welcomed former South China favourite Mahama Awal to their starting eleven, as well as giving debuts to Bulgarian defender Rosen Kolov and Serbian striker Igor Nedeljkovic.
Both teams started the match in tentative fashion, and it wasn’t until the 12th minute that a decent chance was fashioned. Southern forward Wellingsson de Souza found space on the left to deliver a dangerous-looking cross into the box that Sham Kwok-fai managed to get on the end of, but failed to really test Leung Hing-kit in the Pegasus goal.
The Flying Horsemen weren’t faring much better in front of goal, and in truth their best chance of the half came from a Li Nga-hoi free kick on the twenty-five minute mark, with his effort sailing wide of the right-hand post.
Everything changed in the second period, however, and the game was brought to life in the 51st minute after Southern centre-back Chan Kong-pan brought down a Pegasus player in the box. The referee showed no hesitation in dishing out his first red card of the afternoon, also awarding a penalty to Pegasus in the process. Up stepped Nedljkovic, who made no mistake from the spot, making it 1-0 to Pegasus.
Southern manager Ricky Cheng responded by bring on Paul Ngue, and he had a decent chance to level proceedings in the 68th minute with an acrobatic bicycle kick that just went over. Wellingsson de Souza also had a chance to restore parity not long after, but his tight-angled shot could only find the side-netting.
There was still time for one more piece of drama, and Aberdeeners’ defender Shay Spitz picked up his second yellow of the day, after perhaps harshly being adjudged to have brought down Law Hiu-chung illegally, and the following altercation with Pegasus captain Chan Siu-ki left the referee in no doubt of giving the Hong Kong-born New Zealander his marching orders.
The scoreline remained the same, giving new Pegasus head coach Yeung Ching-kwong his first taste of victory in his first competitive game in charge. Southern will undoubtedly be disappointed with their display, and will see the result as three points dropped with their lofty ambitions for this season.
Date: Saturday 26th August, 2017 (2:30pm)
Stadium: Aberdeen Sports Ground