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Hong Kong Round Up: South China and Kitchee Blaze Ahead in the AFC Cup

Hong Kong correspondent Christopher KL Lau rounds-up of all the very latest news, developments and other footballing points of interest from the SAR.…

Both Kitchee and South China have again shown the consistent progress of Hong Kong football with their excellent recent results and showings in the AFC Cup. Last week, Kitchee secured the top of AFC Cup group F with a decisive and comprehensive win over Johor Darul Ta’zim (MAS) from Malaysia. The one-sided game saw Kitchee dominate from start to finish with Johor barely able to fashion a chance let alone threaten the home team. Kitchee’s short passing game was too much for Johor who seemed unable to both cope and deal with the quicker tempo and speed of the match.

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Kitchee’s Cheung King-Fung celebrates the first goal  with Belencoso

Kitchee took the lead in the 27th minute when speedy winger Cheung King-fung whipped in an unstoppable cross with Juan Belencoso glancing a header pass the despairing Johor keeper. It was a stunning goal and a point blank header which the keeper just could not react to quick enough. Tarres put the game out of reach when he latched onto a Lam Ka Wai through ball to slip in the second goal. Kitchee then seemingly eased off the pedal and the score remained the same till the end of the game.

Off the pitch it was a different story with the large number of Johor away support generating a virtual symphony of sound and music throughout the game. The “Straits Boys” completely outshone the Kitchee home support who polite applauded the Johor supporters at half time and at the end of the game. Kitchee are now in prime position to qualify top of the group and earned a favourable draw for the knock-out stages. 

Johor players salute their large traveling away support

Johor players salute their large traveling away support at Mong Kok stadium

South China top group G of the AFC Cup 2015 after yet another win. This time the Caroliners travelled away to Malaysia to take on Pahang. Star striker Chan Siu Kiu struck early on in the 13th minute by smashing home the ball after a feeder pass from Chan Siu Kwan. The Caroliners dominated possession but could not convert this advantage into further goals.

In their previous AFC Cup game, South China defeated Yadanarbon of Cambodia by 3 to 1. If both Kitchee and South China progress then expect attendances to rise and the crowds to flock to both Mong Kok and Hong Kong Stadium to cheer on the home teams. 

Kitchee and Eastern Battle for the Premier League

Big spending Eastern and Kitchee are locked in tight battle for the title which could be resolved in the last few rounds of the season. Kitchee have flexed their title credentials muscles with an all important win over Sun Pegasus in a match which ended 2-1. Kitchee took the lead in the tie via a penalty which was slotted away by Jorge Tarres in the 16th minute. Early in second half, Matthew Lam headed in a Carreiro angled cross which made it 2-0. Sun Pegasus pulled a goal back in the 61st minute with an Admir Rascic header with score remaining the same until the end.

Sun Pegasus were again involved in a decisive top of the table clash on April 15th when they took on title challengers Eastern. The match was a goal feast with each side notching three goals each. Sun Pegasus struck through Rascic, Voinea and Jaimes Mckee while Eastern’s goals were hit by Saric (x2) and Da Silva. At present, Kitchee and Eastern are joint top of the Premier League with 26 points with Kitchee having a game in hand. Sun Pegasus and South China are joint second with 23 points closely followed by YFCMD.

All pictures courtesy of Christopher KL Lau

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Christopher KL Lau was born in England and grew up in both England and Hong Kong, and has a background in media, education and non-profits. He also is a freelance writer / photographer and has written for a number of magazines, websites and newspapers around the world on many subjects ranging from the arts to travel. Chris is passionate about sports and its place in society and is keen to promote both Hong Kong and Chinese football to a wider audience.

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