The 2017 Macau Elite League has finally started and the first round didn’t really offer any surprises, since all three title favourites won their respective games.
The new season started last Friday with triple champions Benfica Macau winning 3-0 against Policia. Policia will probably be involved in the relegation fight this year and against Benfica they followed a purely defensive strategy. To be fair, the final three-goal margin doesn’t quite represent the difficulties Benfica had to beat Policia that day, but with goals by Pang Chi-hang in the first half and two more by Bernardo Marques and Filipe Duarte in the second half, Benfica collected all three points.
Benfica Macau 3-0 Policia match highlights
Monte Carlo, who will probably be the main rivals for Benfica this year, won 4-1 against the Development team, which is sponsored by the Macau FA. Wong Chi Son opened the score for Monte Carlo in the 10th minute, but soon after Sio Chantre Bruce equalized for the U23 side. It was only in the second half that Monte Carlo managed to break their opponents’ defense with goals by Sio Chantre Bruce, Neto and Keverson.
Monte Carlo 4-1 Macau U23 match highlights
Cheng Fung and Kei Lun played an intense match that finished 3-3 with the equalizer scored by Kei Lun in the last minute. Both teams added a lot of foreign players to their squads and could cause some serious upsets this season.
The remaining matches of the first round were played on Wednesday with C.P.K. thrashing Lai Chi 5-0. C.P.K are hoping to win their first title this season and are now on top of the table by goal difference thanks to this perfect start.
The final match saw two former title contenders facing each other, Sporting and Ka I. The match was only decided in the 90th minute when Ka I’s Chan Pak-chun scored the only goal of the match. This game was particularly interesting, because both teams lost their sponsors in pre-season, forcing them to release their best players and coaches. Hence, their ambitions for this season are rather lowand they will hardly play a role in the title race as they did in previous years.
Next week the most exciting match will be Monte Carlo vs Ka I, with Monte Carlo being the slight favourites. The remaining title contenders will play against lower ranked teams: Benfica will face Cheng Fung and C.P.K. will take on Macau U23. Round 2 will be completed with Sporting against Policia and Kei Lun vs Lai Chi.
Photo credits: Benfica Macau Facebook