Hong Kong correspondent Christopher KL Lau once again brings his regular round-up of all the very latest news, developments and other footballing points of interest from the SAR.…
“Hong Kong – Shanghai Inter Club Championship 2014” – A Major Blow Out
The anticipated match up between Hong Kong’s reigning champions and one of the Chinese Super League’s top sides should have gone some way to see how suited and legible Hong Kong teams are suited to playing in the Chinese leagues. This has been the perennial question which has been frequently asked by both Hong Kong fans and fans on the mainland as both leagues go about their business on totally separate terms; in-fact you cannot even watch the Chinese Super League live in Hong Kong! On the basis of the two games, detractors will be fully justified in claiming that the two leagues should remain separate.
Having Kitchee take on Shanghai East Asia should have been a mouth watering affair that should have struck a chord with fans in both of two cities since both hubs are social and economic rivals in so many ways but this ended up not being the case with fans staying away in droves and the players placing in half hearted performances. Given that the Chinese Super League has just ended, Shanghai East Asia fielded most of their reserves but they still proved to be an equal match to Kitchee who fielded many first-teamers. The often apathetic Kitchee performance could be placed down to the fact that the Hong Kong Premier League has just begun with the league and other domestic cups are of a higher priority.
The vaunted “Hong Kong – Shanghai Inter Club Championship” ended up as a major disappointment and a damp squib with Kitchee collapsing 1-6 in the first leg thus rendering the second leg in Hong Kong totally obsolete. In the first leg, Shanghai East Asia’s Lu Wenjun’s scored a four goal salvo while Li Shenglong and an own goal from Fernando Recio tallied up the score to 6. The return leg was a dire affair with less than 1000 paying customers in the 40,000 capacity Hong Kong stadium. Chances were few and far between with both teams unable to breakdown stubborn defenses. Shanghai East Asia took home the silverware but a serious revision of the cup will need to be made to gather more interest and following. A possibility could be to open it up to other Hong Kong and Chinese Super League teams to take part but critics would argue that this would add to fixture congestion. A good idea but yet another severe disappointment
Eastern Defeat League Leaders Sun Pegasus
With the season still in its early stages, cash rich Eastern signaled their title intentions with a convincing 3-0 win over league leaders Sun Pegasus. With many teams with games in hand due to the Asian Games, it will be interesting to see how long Sun Pegasus can hold onto their lead and if Kitchee, South China and Eastern can step and challenge.
All pictures courtesy of Chris KL Lau. Follow him on twitter