Undefeated since the season’s start, the mighty Kitchee notched up yet another 3-0 win against Yuen Long on Sunday 19th November at Yuen Long Stadium, with goals from Lucas Silva, Alex Akande, and Krisztian Vadocz. Patrick Au Yeung reports.
The Bluewaves started the match with their usual 3-4-3 formation, with Nando Recio replacing the injured Helio Goncalves to take the center-back position and Huang Yang moving from midfield to left back. The home side applied a 4-3-2-1 formation, opting for a more defensive philosophy.
The visitors gave Yuen Long’s defence plenty to think about once play began, and in the seventh minute, Fernando’s free kick from the right would only have required a little more swerve to beat goalkeeper Chan Ka-ho. Three minutes later, a header from Lucas found the back of the net but he was ruled offside by the referee.
Despite the disallowed goal, the Bluewaves were not discouraged, and they began to apply more pressure from both wings by using the width of the pitch to create more space. In the 22nd minute, the deadlock was finally broken when a shot from Sandro from some 20 yards out ricocheted off a Yuen Long defender, and the ball looped over to find the unmarked Lucas who tucked the ball away for an easy goal.
Kitchee would have doubled their lead shortly after, had Tomas Maronesi not been on hand on the goal line to clear the header or had Ticao not denied Akande’s acute-angle shot on a later occasion.
The men under coach Tsang Chiu-tat relied mostly on counter attacks to find the equalizer, and their most threatening opportunity arrived 30 minutes into the first half. Striker Everton Camargo cleverly passed to Tam Lok-hin whose pin-point pass from the left-handed side set up Lau Ka-ming, who came up with a disappointingly weak shot as the chance went begging.
Yuen Long’s situation turned from bad to worse seconds before half time following the loss of key midfielder Aleksandr Randelovic due to injury, who was tackled by Lucas from behind. Lucas received a yellow card as punishment, and the Serbian did not return in the second half, being replaced by Junior.
Taking advantage of a set piece, Kitchee put Yuen Long into an even bigger hole seven minutes in the second half, when Alex Akande headed home from close range from Matt Lam’s corner for his sixth goal of the year to increase the lead to two goals.
Moments later, Akande was presented with another chance when Kitchee took advantage of Yuen Long’s turnover for a 3-on-1 break. He blasted a powerful shot at goal, only denied by the crossbar.
However, the win was sealed in the 74th minute, when Yuen Long failed to deal with a corner, giving Kristjan Vadocz the chance to put the ball beyond the outstretched hand of Chan Ka-ho for Kitchee’s third of the night.
Although the Tangerines created a couple more chances in the second half, nothing really threatened Wang Zhenpang from keeping another clean sheet.
For the visiting side, it was encouraging to see Paulinho making his season debut when he replaced Lam Zhi-gin with 27 minutes left in the match. Sidelined since a season ago when playing for Shenzhen FC across the border, the Brazilian claimed in the post-match interview that it felt great to return although he played on the right wing. He will be looking for a chance to feature in the lineup against R&F next Saturday in Guangzhou.