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Dominant Kitchee clinch treble after South China collapse in FA Cup Final

Huang Yang of Kitchee lifts the Hong Kong FA Cup. Photo: Christopher KL Lau

Hong Kong FA Cup Final

South China 1
Chu Siu Kei 69

Kitchee 2
Andreas Lam 30                               Sandro 48

Attendance: 5,038

Kitchee have underlined their dominance of the Hong Kong game after defeating South China 2-1 in the FA Cup Final to earn another trophy and the domestic treble. However, a disappointing game was played out at a seemingly lethargic pace at Mong Kok stadium and when the final whistle blew, even the celebrations from the Kitchee fans and players seemed muted.

Variation is the spice of life and many neutrals were looking for a South China victory to change the narrative of the season which has been dominated by Kitchee; a South China win would have been a morale boost for what has been an underwhelming season for the former giants. 

Goals from Andreas Lam and Sandro saw Kitchee lead 2-0 and South China pulled a goal back from Chu Siu Kei but it was too little too late. Kitchee altered some of their line up and South China had their best team yet Kitchee still won quite comfortably and at a canter. Alex Chu, the Kitchee manager, has successfully navigated Kitchee to one of their most successful seasons since their last treble triumph in 2014-2015.

South China at Final Whistle. Photo: Chris KL Lau

South China made several unforced errors throughout the game which made the game even more difficult than it should have been. Only when the South China winger, Awal, came on in the 58th minute did South China come to life which begs the question of why he did not come on earlier or start the game? Awal’s burst of speed down the wing and subsequent cross was met with a diving header by Chu Siu Kei and South China poured on the pressure in the last ten minutes to no avail.

Unfortunately, there was some shocking refereeing which also meant the game did not flow and most decisions went against South China and their players, management and fans vented their frustrations towards the referee as the clock ticked down.

Kitchee have won the domestic treble (Senior Shield, League and FA Cup) and have secured Asian Champions league football for next season. It is a testament to their forward thinking and constant evolution as a team and an organization. This is in stark contrast to South China who are seemingly living off past glories as they have yet again, failed to deliver. South China fans are frustrated with current South China convenor Wallace Cheung, and many fans are boycotting South China games until he leaves and with rumours of a new owner taking the helm over the summer; long-suffering South China fans may get their wish soon.

Kitchee’s simple yet effective passing game has won them praise and kudos yet the real test will be in the Asian Champions league when they face the best teams in Asia.

Tai Po Win Sapling Cup Final 2017

In another recent domestic cup final, Tai Po capped off a successful season by defeating Hong Kong Pegasus 2-1 in the Sapling Cup Final. A rough and tumble final required extra time to settle the game with De Lima  scoring the winning goal on the 105 minute.

Season Playoffs to Decide Asian Champions League Qualifiers Slot 

The Hong Kong season is drawing to an end yet there is one more elusive prize up for grabs in the form of a place in the Asian Champions league qualifiers. On May 20, South China will play Eastern in the playoff semi final whilst Yuen Long play Southern on May 21st in the other play off semi-final. The winner of the playoff final on May 27th will gain an Asian champions league qualifiers place.  

Hong Kong Football Forum on May 24

An open forum to discuss rising interest in the local game will bring major stakeholders together to discuss all areas of the game in Hong Kong, on May 24 at the Education University of Hong Kong. The event is presented by the Centre for Greater China China studies and the department of Social Studies at the Education University of Hong Kong, and organized by Tobias Zuser (HK Baptist University / Football commentator), Dr Lawrence Ho (Education University of Hong Kong), Andy Chiu (Education University of HK) and Professor Lui Tai-Lok the (Education University of Hong Kong).

For more information: https://hkfootballforum.wordpress.com/

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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