There were no really close scores in the Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier League matches last weekend, with Khalsa-A consolidating their top of the table position with an easy and experience-building win.
Along with Khalsa-A, HKFC-A, Pak-A, Punjab-A and SSSC-A all came away winners.
HKFC’s A and B teams played each other at the HKFC Ground while the other matches were all played at King’s Park on Sunday Jan 20.
Pak-A vs Valley-A
The most competitive match of the day was between Pak-A and Valley-A.
Although Pak-A were leading four goals to one with 10 minutes of the match remaining, Valley-A put up a valiant effort to try to salvage the match. They scored twice in the last five minutes and narrowly missed scoring into an open goal from a ball hit hard across the goal area. But it was too little too late.
At the other end two tantalising runs at the Valley-A defence by Pakistan and Hong Kong forward, Istiaq Ahmed, finished with the ball in the net, but they were both hit above the board and did not count.
The final score was a win for Pak-A: 4-3.
Elite against Khalsa-A
Elite against Khalsa-A match featured the league leaders against the bottom club, so it was always going to be a bit one-sided.
To even it up a bit Khalsa fielded three players from lower teams to give youngsters experience of playing in the Premier League—Jagdev Singh the normal C-team goalkeeper was elevated to the premier side, as were Amrit Singh and Kamikar Singh.
However, Khalsa still had their main defenders and forwards producing the firepower needed to score goals.
Although struggling to keep up with the skills and speed of the Khalsa players, Elite stuck to the task well, they did not give up and showed real determination and perseverance. They often showed some good skills in depriving Khalsa players of the ball and tried attacking moves pushing towards the Khalsa goal.
Elite did not just sit back and wait for things to happen and were rewarded with a goal after 10 minutes of the second half to make the score 3-1. Elite goalie, Tony Cheung in goal had another good match making many spectacular saves, but could not stem the tide.
Khalsa won the match 8:1 keeping them 7-points ahead of the chasing pack of HKFC-A, Punjab-A, and SSSC-A one point further back.
Talking with The Epoch Times about the match, the Khalsa Team Manager Gurcharan Singh explained their selection strategy.
“We have a massive lead—seven points—and for this game we brought in some younger players to let them have experience,” said Singh.
“In the first half they [Khalsa’s players] were playing individually and then later in the game they started playing together better.
“We are now looking for the big games in February,” he concluded.
In the intra-club clash between the two Hong Kong Football Cub sides, HKFC-A won 5-0 with five different players getting on the score sheet. The fairly low score reflects the improved strength of Club’s B side—although they are still losing matches, their games are much more evenly balanced than in recent years.
In the matches at King’s Park SSSC-A beat Shaheen-A 6:0; while, Punjab-A beat KCC-A 6-4. SSSC-A and Punjab-A are both playing excellent skilful, attacking hockey and are well up in the standings table.
“We are still trying to bring along our youth team members and used mostly B and C-team members for this game,” said Hussain.
“We need to get one or two top players to compete at this level,” he added.
The women’s competition is now back on track, playing three matches each week. The HKHA Premier League dropped back to six teams as WS Orchid dropped to Division 1 at the half way break.
In the matches last weekend (Jan 19), KCC-A beat HKFC-B 2-0 at the HKFC Ground, keeping them in second place in the standings just one point clear of Valley-A. Valley-A also had a good win over Club de Recreio-A winning 3-0.
League leaders, HKFC-A beat Shaheen 6-0 keeping them in top spot on 22 points.
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