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Kitchee Defeat Tai Po Again in Five Goal Thriller to Lift Senior Shield

Kitchee lift the Senior Shield 2019. Photo Credit: HKFA

Senior Shield Final 2019

Kitchee: 3 

Matthew Smith ’16, Fernando Pedreira ’45, Fung H (OG) ’75

Tai Po: 2

P Chan ’26, M Lugo ’57

Attendance:  3,399 

In a five goal thriller, Kitchee have defeated Tai Po for a third consecutive cup final in a row, to lift the Senior Shield 2019. After a slow start to their domestic season, Kitchee have found their stride again and won the oldest cup competition in Asia for a seventh time. A crest fallen Tai Po are undoubtably sick and tired of Kitchee and can only hope that their record of reaching a major cup final will improve as they suffered the ignominy of a third straight final defeat.

Hong Kong football writer and fervent Kitchee fan, Patrick Au Yeung, gave his views on Kitchee latest trophy.

“This year’s Senior Shield final was the most exciting in recent years, with five goals being exchanged between the two sides and this is the most goals, in a Senior Shield final, since the 2014-2015 season.  Moreover, the game was fast paced, hard fought and filled with suspense. Although Kitchee, the reigning treble winners, were not as sharp as in the previous two seasons, they still managed to now beat Tai Po in three consecutive local cup finals including last season’s FA Cup and Sapling Cup finals.  Kitchee needed a bit of luck to win the final, relying on a Tai Po’s own goal to decide the outcome in their favour. However, Kitchee manager, Alex Chu struggled to put out the best starting lineup as he was missing Huang Yang with injured centre-back Fernando Recio staying on the bench.”

Yeung said Tai Po seemed to contribute to their own downfall with some interesting tactical changes though the “Greens” will relish taking on Kitchee again in the league.

“For Tai Po, the defeat was heartbreaking, particularly, after managing to equalise after trailing twice. Tai Po just did not seem to find ways to overcome their cup final losing streak; it could partly be contributed to a questionable move by Lee Chi-kin’s tactic of taking out Michel Lugo, their second-goal highest goal scorer, for another defender when the game was up for grabs with a good one-third of the game left to play. Nonetheless, they will certainly try to take revenge in February when they will host Kitchee again in an upcoming league fixture.”

Stuart F, a fervent Southampton and Kitchee fan, who lives in London and flew in for the Senior Shield from the United Kingdom, gave his views on the game.

“Kitchee had the better of the first half  but had no final pass and looked shaky at the back so were fortunate to go in 2-1 up at half time. In the second half, Kitchee were clearly second best, until the third goal, which then lifted them.  Kitchee’s number 7, Fernando Pedreira, was best player on the pitch and all in all, I’d give Kitchee the slight edge in an entertaining match.”

Both Kitchee and Tai Po have upcoming continental cup qualifiers in the AFC Champions league and AFC Cup respectively and for Kitchee, this much needed win, could be the confidence boost they need to kick start the second half of their season.

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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