Kitchee began their road to defend the Senior Shield as they faced Rangers in the quarter-final Saturday afternoon, October 21st, at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground.
Starting the tournament in style, the Bluewaves beat the opposition by a convincing 5-0 score. The outcome of the contest was decided in the first half, in which four of those five goals – from five different players – happened merely over a span of 19 minutes.
Kitchee put up their usual 3-4-3 formation, but Alex Chu rested regulars such as Huang Yang and Jared Lum to give Tong Kin-man and Nando Recio a chance of starting. As underdogs, Rangers countered with a 4-5-1 formation, with Argentinian Cristian Castano being assigned to strike alone.
Both sides took quite some time to settle in after kickoff, but the Bluewaves eventually took full control. In the 16th minute, Sandro took advantage of a turnover at the Rangers’ backfield. After few passes among teammates, he received a cross from Fernando to head in the opening goal.
They doubled the lead just nine minutes after, when Krisztian Vadocz connected with captain Lam Ka-wai on a dandy pass in the box. Lam’s one-time effort found the back of the net, although goalkeeper Wong Tse-yang dived for a piece of it.
Since then, Rangers failed to recompose, instead they went into deeper trouble as their defense were tore apart. Strikers Fernando and Lucas Silva each tallied on Wong’s rebound to complete a four-goal lead at half time. It is worth mentioning that Lucas ended his long scoreless drought since his four-goal performance against Dreams FC on September 10th.
With a big lead, Kitchee were much laid back for the second portion of the contest, so Sandro and Lucas were pulled at half time for Alex Akande and Christian Annan. On the other hand, Rangers, who eliminated Dreams FC in penalty shootout to reach this stage of the tournament, had very few shots that required opposition goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng to make minimum effort.
Eventually, Akande scored from close range to complete the team’s five-goal performance two minutes into the stoppage time.
Kitchee will now meet Yuen Long, who edged Tai Po 4-2 on the same day, in the semifinal of the tournament on December 24.