Yuen Long suffered heartbreak as a poor Kitchee side scored two late goals to snatch 3 points in an end-to-end match that ended 2-0 to the title-favourites.
The New Territories club came within inches of scoring around the 10th minute when Lok Hin Tam placed a beautiful free kick over the top of the Kitchee defence towards Brazilian captain Fabio Lopes who’s diving header glared just past the post.
Kitchee’s best chance of the half came around the 25th minute when defender Helio rose to a cross to float a header past goalkeeper Pang Tsz Kin who was more than relieved to see the Brazilian’s effort some crashing back off the crossbar.
The Tangerines had several counter attacks throughout the first half with Kitchee looking lazy and dropping back into defence, but the boys in yellow never looked too threatening in front of goal. They looked to gain a bit of momentum in the second half, however, and forced Pang Tsz Kin to pull off a spectacular save when Rufinho did well to swivel past a defender and unleash a shot with his left toward the top left corner, only to be denied by the acrobatic ability of the former Tai Po and Happy valley stopper.
Kitchee’s new Spanish signing Marco Jimenez was still looking for his first goal in Hong Kong football and didn’t do himself any favours when Sandro played a text book ball across the face of the goal but the Spaniard slid in and placed the ball just wide of the open goal. He had another chance to redeem himself 10 minutes later when he found himself through on goal but was put off by the presence of Luciano as the new signing sliced the ball over the crossbar.
The home side finally managed to break the dead lock and go ahead in the 86th minute when Sandro played another ball across the face of goal and was tapped into the roof of the net by the outside boot of Rufino for his first goal of the season.
Sandro looked to be the source of Yuen Long’s troubles for much of the second half and grabbed his second assist in the 92nd minute when the winger played the ball through to Alex Akande in the box who found no trouble in placing the ball towards goal and despite Tsz Kin Pang’s best efforts, he couldn’t get enough behind the ball to keep it out, thus giving Kitchee the 2-0 win and all 3 points.
Yuen Long looked to be drowning out Kitchee in the first half and looked to be a major threat in front of goal but were left to rue their missed chances when Kitchee came back in the second half with some more confidence. However, the New Territories club were unlucky to leave Mong Kok without a point and there will be plenty of positives to take from the game for Tsang Chiu Tat’s men.
Man of the Match: Sandro (Kitchee)
STADIUM: Mong Kok Stadium
KITCHEE: Guo Jianqiao, Helio, Lam Zhi Gin (Fernando), Marco Jimenez, Lam Ka Wai (Akande), Lo Kwan Yee, Li Ngai Hoi (Cancela), Lum, Rufino, Huang Yang, Kim Bong Jin
YUEN LONG: Pang Tsz Kin, Lau Ka Ming (Bertoldi), Law Chun Ting, Higino (Lai Hau Hei), Ngan Lok Fung, Wong Yim Kwan (Yiu Ho Ming), Alcantara, Chan Hin Kwong, Tam Lok Hin, Luciano Silva Da Silva, Lau Ho Lam