Second-half goals by Chen Haowei and Everton Camargo against Lee man earned Eastern their second cup in 5 days at Mong Kong Stadium, the first game held there since mid-January.
Eastern played without Lucas and Sandro, as both of them participated in the tournament with Kitchee and Taipo respectively earlier this season. Lee Man was also without their top scorer Michael N’Dri, who is serving his suspension after 5 yellow cards. Macau international Leong Ka-hang returned in action and was handed his first start of the season.
The Bees tried to push their line higher up right from the beginning and almost took the lead. However, Jonatan Acosta couldn’t capitalise on a defensive error in the 19th minute, sending the ball straight back to Yapp Hung-fai after he caught Clayton’s pass just outside the box. Eastern started to gain more dominance after 20 min: first, there was a goalward effort by Joao Emir blocked by Yu Wai-lim, soon followed by Clayton’s low drive from a corner going just wide of the target. There was a scare from the home bench when Everton Camargo went down injured during a run but was fortunate to see the Brazilian getting back on his feet. Leong Ka-hang then flicked a header out wide from Gilvaniton’s nicely placed freekick and in the 42th, Leong broke through on a counter and sent a cut-through ball to Gilvaniton, who dribbled past Eduardo Praes but his narrow-angle shot was pushed away by Yapp Hung-fai.
Overall it was a largely even goalless half when both teams had their threatening moments but they were mostly cautious in their defence department, however, it hurt Lee Man more as their regular center-back Yu Wai-lim was forced off with an injury just before the half time.
After the break, Chen Hao-wei came on at the expense of Wong Tsz-ho, who suffered an injury in a clash with Yu Wai-lim, and Chen injected more energy down Eastern’s right. Though Lee Man had the better opportunities to break the deadlock, when Gilvaniton shot straight at Yapp after some great movement, and Jonatan Acosta failed to poke the ball home from 5 yards. At the 74th minute, Leong Ka-hang sent a cut-back ball down the left inside the box, but Gilvaniton at the near post and Cheng Siu-kwan at the far post both failed to score. On the other hand, the Blues scored on a quick effective counter, Everton Camargo drove down the left before sending an inch-perfect cross for Chen Haowei to smash in at the near post in the 76th minute. Everton Camargo then had two very good chances to double the lead in the following minutes, but was firstly diverted wide and then denied by the Warrior’s defence. After conceding, the men in yellow put more men up top but were visibly fatigued to change the game and Everton Camargo secured the victory for his team at the 87th minute, sending home the rebound after Yuen Ho-chun parried his initial attempt. To make it even more difficult for Lee Man, Sergii Shapoval was shown his second yellow on a tackle on substitute Yue Tsz-nam in the final minute.
After adding the FA Cup and the Senior Shield to their trophy cabinet, Lee Chi-kin’s army still stands a good chance of doing the treble by winning the Premier League, as they are currently only a point off leader Kitchee. Eastern will face Happy Valley and then R&F on the final day to decide their fate.