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HKPL 2016/17 Round 5: Round-up

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Now quarter of the way into the new season, the Hong Kong Premier League returned last weekend after the international break that saw the national side secure victories away to Cambodia and at home to Singapore.
Hong Kong FC were looking to build on their first win of the season as they hosted Pegasus on Friday night, whilst Southern were also looking for their first victory as they faced reigning champions Eastern on Saturday afternoon. This was followed by the highlight of the weekend as arch enemies Kitchee and South China met in a fiery encounter on Saturday evening. On Sunday afternoon, Sapling welcomed Rangers to Hammer Hill Sports Ground, and R&F and Yuen Long rounded off the weekend action. Jeff Hardbattle reports. (All highlights courtesy of and owned by on.cc)


HONG KONG FC 0:1 PEGASUS

STADIUM: HKFC Stadium
ATTENDANCE: 322

Steve Gallen eased the pressure on himself as Pegasus secured their first win in four with a late yet timely goal from Brazilian forward João Emir Porto Pereira. The hosts had battled through 83 minutes of the game with some impressive and solid defending, and the Flying Horsemen were nearly left to rue their numerous missed chances until Wong Chun Ho delivered a ball into the box that was cleared out to Pereira, whose shot looped into the back of the net to snatch victory just seven minutes from time.
Hong Kong FC have now lost 4 games out of 5, but still sit above the relegation zone, while Pegasus climb into third but having played a game more than South China and Yuen Long who follow closely behind.

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SOUTHERN 1:3 EASTERN

STADIUM: Aberdeen Sports Ground
ATTENDANCE: 469

Eastern maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a convincing 3-1 win away to Southern to keep the pressure on Kitchee. The Blues took the lead after a superb ball up field was picked up by Miroslav Saric who duly looped the ball into the net beyond the helpless Tse Tak Him in goal. Just before the half hour mark, both Garrido for Southern and Lee Hong Lim were both sent off for an altercation that typified the intensity of the match. Indeed, six minutes after half time, however, the Aberdeeners restored parity after defender Tsang Chi Hau brought down Wellingsson de Souza in the penalty area. The Brazilian himself stepped up, and although his initial shot was saved by Yapp Hung Fai, Lau Hok Ming fired back towards goal from the loose ball and the ball rebounded into the goal off Tsang Chi Hau to make it 1:1. But Eastern made sure of the points with two late goals, the first after Bleda Rodrigues picked up an excellent ball from Bai He and put the ball into the box for Giovane to smash home, and the second after a nice through ball from Giovane allowed Leung Chun Pong to flick the ball onto Bleda Rodriguez who made no mistake. Eastern now sit in second, 3 points behind Kitchee but with a game in hand, while Southern remain bottom with just a single point.

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KITCHEE 1:1 SOUTH CHINA

STADIUM: Mong Kok Stadium
ATTENDANCE: 3,863

A bumper crowd at Mong Kok Stadium watched a hugely entertaining fixture as Kitchee and South China played out a one-all draw. Nikola Komazec kept up his amazing feat of scoring in every competitive match since joining the Caroliners, when he put his team in front with emphatic outside-of-the-boot half volley after a great ball forward from Leung Kwun Chung. But Kitchee were not going to roll over and concede defeat to one of their biggest rivals, and they got the goal they deserved just after half time, when Lo Kwan Yee put the ball on a plate for Sandro with a great cross into the danger zone, and the Brazilian-born forward headed the ball into the bottom left corner. Kitchee, in truth, had more of the ball and the better chances, but the result still leaves Kitchee at the top of the table with South China five points behind in third place.

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SAPLING 2:2 RANGERS

STADIUM: Hammer Hill Sports Ground
ATTENDANCE: 456

A Jordi Tarres second half brace rescued a point for Rangers despite going 2:0 down. Sapling were good value for their lead and they went in front on 9 minutes, after Everton Camargo threaded the ball through to Liu Pui Fung. The ball was defended, but the loose ball fell to Camargo once again whose powerful shot from a tight angle found its way in. Just after the restart, Vas Nunez made it 2:0 to the home side after a fantastic header from a corner to make it look like a good outing for Sapling. But Jordi Tarres began the fightback after 65 minutes when, with his arm bandaged from injury, he got the better of his marker Yu Pui Hong and expertly headed the ball into the top right corner. He was not done there either, and despite Clayton being sent off for Rangers, the Spaniard rescued a point for his team with a shot from an impossibly tight angle that was too accurate for Siu Leong in goal. Sapling remain in seventh place, while Rangers currently occupy the spot just above the relegation zone.

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R&F 1:4 YUEN LONG

STADIUM: Siu Sai Wan Sorts Ground
ATTENDANCE: 204

Yuen Long produced a classy second half performance to put R&F to the sword and move up into fifth place in the league. It was the home side who took the lead, however, after Xiang Jiachi converted his spot kick, but Yuen Long equalised two minutes later with a penalty of their own, this one hit home by Stefan Pereira. R&F produced a woeful defensive display in the second half, and Yip Tsz Chun took full advantage when he let rip from a deflected cross into the box to make it 2:1. Diego Higino then furthered the Tangerines’ lead after calmly wrong-footing Tsang Kin Fong in the area and stroking the ball into the net. The rout was completed just four minutes later, after Serbian midfielder Aleksandar Randelovic expertly chested down Tam Lok Hin’s cross and smashed the ball past goalkeeper Xing Yu to bag his side’s second win in four games and leave R&F hovering dangerously close to the foot of the table.

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HONG KONG PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE (October 14th, 15th and 16th)

Position Team Game Win Draw Loss Goal Gain Goal Loss Goal Diff Point
1 Kitchee 5 4 1 0 9 2 7 13
2 Eastern 4 3 1 0 8 4 4 10
3 Pegasus 5 2 2 1 9 7 2 8
4 South China 4 2 2 0 6 4 2 8
5 Yuen Long 4 2 1 1 12 7 5 7
6 Tai Po 4 1 1 2 3 4 -1 4
7 Sapling 5 1 1 3 8 10 -2 4
8 R&F 3 1 0 2 3 7 -4 3
9 Hong Kong FC 5 1 0 4 6 13 -7 3
10 Rangers 4 0 2 2 4 6 -2 2
11 Southern 3 0 1 2 2 6 -4 1

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