Manchester City have won the Citibank Hong Kong Soccer Sevens 2014 cup final in scorchingly hot and humid conditions. Throughout the three days, City fielded their under-18s team and youthful zest and exuberance won over experience as they defeated Hong Kong champions Kitchee 2-1 with two goals from Brandon Barker after Kitchee had taken the lead through Lo Kwan-Yee. Parker was also named player of the tournament with his consistent displays driving City from the group stages all the way to the final.
Spectators and players alike endured baking conditions as the relentless sun beat down on the Hong Kong Football Club pitch. Both Kitchee and Manchester City won their respective group stages at a canter and were clear favorites to reach the final. City overcame the HK-U23’s (Quarters) and Sunderland (Semis) to take on Kitchee who themselves defeated HK-U21’s (Quarters) and Newcastle (Semis).
Aston Villa won the shield competition with a 3-1 win over Glasgow Rangers. Villa’s Jack Grealish ended up as the tournament’s top scorer by netting six times and is definitely a superstar for the future; quick thinking and fast with a wicked shot, he will be on the England national team radar soon.
Ex-Liverpool and Finland international, Jari Litmanen continued to show his class by inspiring Ajax to the masters tournament. Debutants Guangzhou Evergrande did not have the best of tournaments and finished with three straight group defeats to Newcastle, HKFC and HK-U-23 respectively. There is no doubt that this young Evergrande team will learn from their experience.
All in all, three days of continuous goals and action and congratulations to the players, fans and officials for somehow putting up with the harsh conditions; it was like three days in an outdoor sauna.
All pictures courtesy of Chris KL Lau.
Christopher KL Lau is the Hong Kong Correspondent for Wildeast Football. He has figured out twitter and can be found here: https://twitter.com/Chris_KL_Lau
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