Hong Kong correspondent Christopher KL Lau brings a regular round-up of latest news and developments and other footballing points of interest from the SAR.
South China draw first blood in season opener – HKJC Hong Kong Community Cup
South China have gained a vital psychological advantage for the upcoming Premier league with a comprehensive and convincing 2-0 win over arch rivals Kitchee. The Community Cup serves as the season opener with the league champions (Kitchee) taking on the playoff winners (South China); bouyed by Kitchees advance to the AFC Cup last four, a large crowd was expected in anticipation of the two deadly rivals going head to head. Unfortunately, downpours in the morning stopped fans from coming out but a healthy 4,008 still came out to provide their support. The game was played in fluctuating weather which saw patches of intense heat replaced by severe downpour which reverted back to hot and humid conditions. The players did well to adapt and the game was played at a high tempo. South China took a well earned lead in the 17th minute when South China lynchpin, Chan Siu-Ki, smashed in a low cross into the Kitchee box; the pace caused chaos and Kitchee’s Recio crashed into his own goalkeeper, Wang, which lead to a simple tap in for Lee Wai-Lim to give the Caroliners the one goal advantage. Kitchee had many opportunties to draw level with Alexander Akande, Matthew Lam and Juan Belencoso all denied by new South China goalkeeper, Cristian Mora.
In the second half, the aforementioned Mora quickly showed why he was signed with a stunning save in the 50th minute to deny Juan Belencoso. In the 60th minute, Chan Siu-Ki connected to a Nakamura cross to make it two-nil though the scoreline definitely did not reflect the closeness of the game as Kitchee had a lion’s share of the possession and chances. It was simply not their day and Kitchee were left to rue a slew of chances to score. Frustrations came to a head at the end of the game when Kitchee’s Rodriguez was sent off for his second yellow card. South China held on for a well earned victory and they will now head into the new season with confidence.
Hong Kong International Friendlies Against Vietnam and Singapore
The senior Hong Kong squad are preparing for their highly anticipated match against Argentina by playing two tough away games against Vietnam (September 6th) and Singapore (September 9th) respectfully. Hong Kong will then play Singapore again on October 10th (at home) as the final preparations before their huge test against the world cup runners up.
Christopher KL Lau is the Hong Kong Correspondent for Wildeast Football.
All pictures courtesy of Chris KL Lau
He has figured out twitter and can be found here: https://twitter.com/Chris_KL_Lau
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