In this year’s first semi-final of the FA Cup, two district clubs, Tai Po and Southern District, needed extra-time to decide who would fight for silverware. Igor Sartori, Dhiego Martins and Wong Wai eventually helped the Greens to advance, beating the Aberdeeners 4-1 on May 5th at Mong Kok Stadium in front of 1,643 spectators.
However, it took the Greens 58 minutes into the game to take a 1-0 lead, when they sparked a quick counter-attack from the right, with Sartori’s cross targeting unmarked Wong in the box, who struck the game’s first goal past Tse Tak-him.
14 minutes after the first tally, Southern’s Chan Siu-kwan equalized the score after his initial header was stopped by the diving Li Hon-ho, but Beto Fronza picked up the rebound near the goal line to feed Chan for the second chance. This meant that the game had to go into 30 minutes extra-time.
Ultimately, Sartori’s potential match-winner turned out to be fatal to the Aberdeeners, who were unable to catch up with Tai Po. Rather, they conceded two more in a span of eleven minutes, which ensured their loss in this season’s second cup semi-final, following their disappointing Senior Shield campaign.
It was substitute Dhiego Martins who increased Tai Po’s lead with an easy strike in the 108th minute. Then, Wong Wai sealed the 4-1 victory with his second of the day on another counter-attack.
In general, during the whole match, obvious chances were hard to come by, despite both sides putting in tremendous effort to look for a berth in the final on May 26th. The Greens had a slight upper-hand, with Sartori and David Lazari being very active at the front line. On the other side, Wellingsson de Souza and Marcos de la Espada tried to find the net, as James Ha barely contributed to the offensive threat. At the same time, set-piece specialist Michael Luk remained rather harmless throughout the match.
Having already reached the Sapling Cup final to defend their title, Tai Po will first turn their focus back to the Premier League when they face Pegasus in the last round at Tai Po Sports Ground this coming Sunday, May 13th.
Photos by Ken Wu: