For the first time in team history, Kitchee defended the Community Cup title – Hong Kong’s version of the super cup – by edging out Tai Po with a final score of 1-0, courtesy to Lucas Silva’s late goal in front of 3,074 spectators at Mong Kok Stadium on Saturday, September 29th.
The only goal came one minute before the end of regular time, and was produced by two second-half substitutes. Lucas Silva finished easily past Tsang Man-fai after receiving a terrific through pass from Ju Yingzhi that fooled two Tai Po defenders.
The first half was quite evenly matched, with only a few chances being created on either side. A one-timer from Kitchee’s Yuto Nakamura came the closest to threaten the Greens, before Mohamed Sissoko’s effort was pushed out by goalkeeper Tsang. For Tai Po central midfielder Wong Wai provided some excellent passes to Michel Lugo and Igor Sartori, but both failed to connect.
After the break, neither side managed to break out. David Lazari, who made a rare start as left-back for the Greens, missed the goal only by inches. After Lucas scored the above described match winner in the 89th minute, Tai Po were presented with another free kick before the final whistle. However, the following shot only hit the wall.
Kitchee coach Alex Chu shuffled the lineup around a bit, after coming to terms with the 1-1 draw against eastern on Tuesday, September 25th. Jordi Tarres and Cheng Chin-lung made their season debuts as starters, while Nando Recio returned from a lengthy recovery.
The Community Cup was sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for the fifth time. As winners Kitchee received a cash prize of HK$250,000, while Tai Po were given HK$100,000. Both teams will donate this amount to a charitable organization. Kitchee nominated United Christian Hospital, while Tai Po selected Street Soccer Hong Kong Limited as the beneficiary party. In addition, the eight remaining teams of the Hong Kong Premier League were given HK$300,000 for projects of their choosing.
Before the main match, the Chelsea Soccer School (Girls), champions of the domestic girls’ league, defeated FA Cup holders Kowloon Cricket Club (Girls) 3-0 with a convincing performance. Soon after, Kitchee’s U13 beat youth league champions HKFC 2-0.
Kitchee 1:0 Tai Po (September 29th, 5:30 pm, Mong Kok Stadium, Attendance: 3074)