Dreams kicked off their Sapling Cup campaign with a hard-fought win over Lee Man in the Group A contest, with goals from Joaquin Garcia and Cheng Chin-lung in the first half proving to be enough to take the points, despite a second half fightback from Lee Man who threatened after Stefan Pereira pulled one back. Jeff Hardbattle rounds-up the action.
Dreams began the contest in positive fashion, with Pablo Gallardo putting wide an early chance from a Joaquin Garcia corner, but the latter didn’t keep his team’s fans waiting for much longer, and in the 28th minute he put his side into the lead after creating enough space behind the Lee Man defence to unleash a shot that hit the back of the net to make it 1:0 to the Dreamers.
And three minutes before half time, it was 2:0 thanks to a wonder goal from youngster Cheng Chin-lung. The 19-year-old’s long range effort from outside the 18 yard box left goalkeeper Yip Ka-yu with no chance, and Dreams looked in a strong position going in at the break two goals to the good.
Lee Man emerged with a renewed sense of determination in the final forty five minutes, however, and the second half proved to be a much more even contest with both sides trading chances. Tse Long-hin fired a warning signal at Dreams in the 52nd minute from the edge of the box, but his shot sailed wide of the post.
Dreams looked to up the pressure in their search for a third goal with chances for Joaquin Garcia and Cheng Chin-lung proving fruitless, and their inability to kill off the game nearly cost them when substitute Stefan Pereira pulled one back for the Bees with his effort inside the box hitting the inside of the post and into the back of the net – the score now being 2:1 to Dreams.
Lee Man pressed for an equaliser, but they were ultimately unable to do so, and Dreams came away with the victory to get their quest for glory in the Sapling Cup off to a strong start.