The Hong Kong Premier League, whose revival from summer slumber was disrupted by postponements earlier in the month, picked up pace with a full weekend of fixtures in which three of the local game’s major powers reasserted themselves.
HONG KONG FC 0:2 KITCHEE
STADIUM: HKFC Stadium
One of Hong Kong’s proudest club rivalries got an airing on Friday night at Hong Kong Football Club, where Hong Kong FC played host to Kitchee. The latter were made to work for an eventual 2-0 victory against their hosts, who have started slowly in the top division. Long-serving midfielder Lo Kwan Yee broke the deadlock for Kitchee after 71 minutes before the ever-reliable Alex Akande doubled their advantage in the last minute. Akande has now scored in all three of Kitchee’s league games this season, and seems to be hitting his stride.
SAPLING 2:0 R&F
STADIUM: Hammer Hill Road Sports Ground
New boys R&F had not played a Premier League game until this weekend, and they remain slow starters after losing 2-0 to HK Sapling at Hammer Hill. Sapling themselves had started poorly in the league with opening losses to Pegasus and South China, but they look to have goals in them. Second-half strikes from Raul Fabiani and Yeung Chi Lun – the latter with an impressive drive on the half-volley – gave them the points here. It was Sapling’s second win over R&F in a week, having also triumphed in a Senior Shield tie last weekend.
PEGASUS 2:2 YUEN LONG
STADIUM: Hong Kong Stadium
Meanwhile Pegasus and Yuen Long, both looking like mid-table outfits this term, played out a 2-2 draw at Hong Kong Stadium. The result will disappoint Pegasus, who had been two goals clear after half an hour thanks to Brazilian duo Dhiego Martins and Joao Emir. Ngan Lok Fung in the 40th minute and Lau Ho Lam on 76 minutes led the fightback for Yuen Long and Pegasus are showing a worrying tendency to draw games they should be winning.
TAI PO 1:2 SOUTH CHINA
STADIUM: Tai Po Sports Ground
Kitchee’s chief rivals for the main prize are likely to be South China and Eastern, and both were in action on Sunday. The Caroliners fought for their victory in front of a packed house at newly promoted Tai Po. A tap in from the visitors’ Mahama Awal was cancelled out by another from Tai Po’s Yuko Nakamura, before powerful new striker Nikola Komazec climbed high to win the game for South China with a well placed header. It was a good goal, but scant justice for battling Tai Po.
EASTERN 2:1 RANGERS
STADIUM: Mong Kok Stadium
In the weekend’s final game, at Mongkok Stadium, hosts Eastern overcame Rangers 2-1 with a penalty from Manuel Bleda and a long range strike from Lee Hong Lim, after Tarres had opened the scoring for Rangers , also from the spot. The Blues had a tired look about their defence, and will need to tighten up at the back if they want to challenge for top honours once again this season.
Kitchee sit pretty atop the table with nine points and a healthy goal difference of +6, but both South China and Eastern on six points hold a game in hand. Next weekend’s meeting of the latter two teams is already looking like an early season six-pointer.
HONG KONG PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE (23rd, 24th, 25th September, 2016)
|Position||Team||Game||Win||Draw||Loss||Goal Gain||Goal Loss||Goal Diff||Point|
|11||Hong Kong FC||3||0||0||3||3||10||-7||0|