The weekend’s Friday night kick off saw a Hong Kong Premier League match featuring two clubs in very different positions in the standings, but there was little to be surprised about with the result, however, as the first-place Kitchee clinched another convincing victory by beating league newcomers Lee Man by 4-1 at Mongkok Stadium in front of 1,129 fans. Patrick Au Yeung reports.
The Bluewaves needed only six minutes to put themselves ahead to the delight of the home crowd, taking advantage of Chan Ming-kong’s poor clearance which was intercepted by Lam Zhi-gin, who fired a shot without notice to pick up first goal of the season.
Once in front, suggesting that Kitchee dominated proceedings could be a big understatement as the match was practically entirely played in Lee Man’s own territory. Two breakthrough passes found Lucas Silva, and only Felix Luk’s timely goalkeeping prevented further damage. More opportunities were manufactured from the wingers, but unfortunately they lacked the finishing touches.
Meanwhile, the Bees rarely came up with any threatening counter attacks, but in the 25th minute they almost pulled level. Stefan Pereira’s shot outside the box was initially blocked by Kim Bongjin but Ze Victor brought the rebound into box before pulling the trigger. Wang Zhenpeng, however, was on hand to come to the rescue with a smart save.
Going into the second half, Kitchee seemed determined to throw more punches at their opponents, and consequentially they were rewarded for their tenacity with two goals in just six minutes. Sandro received a short back pass from captain Lam Ka-wai, and the Brazilian-born forward held off pressure from Son Mincheol from behind to slot home beautifully in the 51st minute.
Six minutes later, although Luk denied attempts from Lam Ka-wai and Lucas one after the other, Sandro benefited from a third rebound to notch up his third of the afternoon.
Alex Akande, who had earlier replaced Lucas Da Silva, put his name on the score sheet nine minutes before the conclusion of the contest, but there was also time for the deflated visitors to ruin Wang’s excellent performance in goal two minutes into stoppage time when Denis Lima received a tailor-made cross from Wong Chun-hin to head in for a consolation.
With 13 points after five games, Kitchee continue to lie in pole position in the league standings, while Lee Man seem to be beginning to struggle with three defeats – two in Cup competitions — in as many weeks.
Photo gallery by Christie Leung