The Premier League resumed over the weekend following last weeks round of Sapling Cup fixtures, with R&F topping the table with a convincing win over Yuen Long while Eastern failed to build on their good recent form with a drab 0-0 draw at home to Tai Po.
The weekend’s action got underway at Mong Kok Stadium on Friday night, November 30th, as Kitchee overcame Pegasus with a comprehensive 3-0 victory. Lucas Silva should have given the home side the lead inside five minutes, but he blazed over the goal when well placed. Kitchee continued to press forward with Fernando striking the bar from the edge of the box after ten minutes. Nonetheless, the pressure told five minutes before the break, as Josip Tadic broke the deadlock following nice interplay by Nando Recio and Lucas who created an opening for the Serbian to sidefoot home from eight yards. The second half was controlled by Kitchee once more, although Pegasus could have equalised in the 63rd minute, as Mahama Awal lofted over from six yards. The Bluewaves sealed the game in the last two minutes, however, when Lucas firing into the roof of the net from close range before substitute Krisztian Vadocz lashed home from the edge of the box in stoppage time.
Saturday, December 1st, saw R&F top the table with a crushing 5-2 win over Yuen Long, courtesy of goals from Tiago Leonco, Giovane da Silva, Itaparica and a late double from Lam Zhi-gin, with Cleiton and Law Chun-ting replying for the Tangerines. The victory sees the satellite team top the table while Yuen Long remain in seventh.
Saturday’s other match saw Lee Man host Southern to a 1-1 draw, preventing the Aberdeeners from topping the league. Fran Gonzales gave the home side an early lead, which was cancelled out by James Ha’s third goal of the season ten minutes after the break.
Sunday’s early game on December 2nd was undoubtedly the most entertaining as the two basement sides battled it out at Tsing Yi Sports Ground, with Dreams finally overcoming a spirited Hoi King team by 4-3. Dreams take the lead inside 20 minutes, as a dangerous cross from the left was turned into his own goal by Phillip To. But within 15 minutes Hoi King had turned the game on its head as first Tsang Tsz-hin volleyed home, after Chan Man-chun’s initial shot had been blocked. Soon after Christian Annan finished across goal after twisting and turning the home defence. The lead didn’t last long, however, as Diego Higino teed up Nacho Martinez, who swept the ball into the net past Felix Luk. The second half began slowly but it was Dreams who regained the lead on 67 minutes, as a right wing cross found Higino whose header squirmed past the hapless Luk and into the corner. Dreams sealed the victory in the last minute of normal time as the ball dropped to Higino in the six yard box following a corner and the Brazilian poked the ball past the indecisive away keeper for 4-2. Straight from kick off, however, Hoi King grabbed another goal, this time Seo Sangmin benefited from some persistent play to score, following an initial block by Tse Ka-wing in the home goal. A few wasted set pieces in added time saw the Whites take a vital three points which leaves newly promoted Hoi King already five points from safety, while Dreams will be seeking to climb the table now they have their first league win of the season.
If the bottom of the table clash on Sunday afternoon provided plenty of entertainment, the contest at the top between Eastern and Tai Po in the evening certainly did not. Both sides probed and sought answers, however, both defenses came out on top. Everton Carmago coming closest for the Blues by striking the bar with 15 minutes remaining, while Dudu headed straight at Yapp Hung-fai from six yards when he really should have won the points for the Greens with only around five minutes remaining.
Eastern then missed the chance to top the table albeit with a game in hand, whilst Dreams win the relegation six-pointer at the bottom. Next week sees R&F seek to build on their table topping form with a clash against Southern, who sit just a point behind and Eastern will look to get back to winning ways by hosting Pegasus.
Kitchee 3-0 Pegasus (November 30th, 8pm, Mong Kok Stadium; Attendance: 1,641)
R&F 5-2 Yuen Long (December 1st, 2:30pm, Yanzigang Stadium; Attendance: 729)
Lee Man 1-1 Southern (December 1st, 2:30pm, Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground; Attendance: 595)
Dreams 4-3 Hoi King (December 2nd, 2:30pm, Tsing Yi Sports Ground; Attendance: 691)
Eastern 0-0 Tai Po (December 2nd, 5:30pm, Hong Kong Stadium; Attendance: 1,237)
Photo gallery by Zinc Yeung