HONG KONG—This weekend saw the presentation of the first silverware for competing Premier League teams, plus one Premier League match.
Saturday (Jan 17) featured last year’s league champions Kitchee take on Eastern at Hong Kong Government Stadium in the final of the HKFA Canbo Shield. Miroslav Saric opened the scoring for Eastern in the 11th minute, but Kitchee equalised in the 38th minute when Juan Belencoso fired in Christian Annan’s cross, and the sides went into the half-time break at one goal each.
Eastern re-took the lead in the 64th minute when Dylan Macallister scored after Liang Zicheng’s shot from Diego Moreira’s cross was parried by Kitchee goalkeeper Guo Jianqaio. Eastern extended their lead to 3-1 in the 83rd minute when Miroslav Saric scored his second and, despite Jorge Tarres reducing the deficit for Kitchee in the 93rd minute during time added on, Eastern won the first trophy of the season on offer.
In Sunday’s (Jan 18) Premier League game YFCMD took on Wofoo Tai Po at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground. YFCMD took the lead in the 11th minute when Ruben Lopez scored after Lee Ka-ho’s corner wasn’t dealt with by the Wofoo Tai Po defence, but Wofoo Tai Po equalised in the 17th minute when Ye Jia headed in Vincent Weijl’s corner. However, YFCMD restored their lead in the 21st minute when Kenji Fukuda converted a penalty.
YFCMD extended their lead in the 31st minute when Hui Ka-lok rounded Wofoo Tai Po goalkeeper Wang Yuhao to score, and further extended the lead in the 39th minute when Kenji Fukuda scored his second, and added his third, and YFCMD’s fifth goal 2 minutes later, for a 5-1 half-time lead.
After failing to convert a few second half chances, Wofoo Tai Po finally scored to reduce the deficit when Vincent Weijl scored from a penalty in the second half, and a final 5-2 victory for YFCMD.
Eastern now lead the Premier League standings with 19 points from 8 games, with a better goal difference than Sun Pegasus with the same points from 9 games. South China are third on 16 points from 9 games, and Kitchee fourth with 14 points from 6 games.
There were no games in the lower HKFA leagues, and few games scheduled before the 3 leagues resume their rounds of matches at the start of February.
Yau Yee League
League rounds continued and the first division saw Wanderers prevail 1-0 against French Kiss, Albion draw 2-all with GAS, KCC Dragons be 3-nil victors over Swiss XI, Boca Seniors win 5-1 against Corinthians, The Store House Squadron beaten 2-3 by Colts, and USRC win 2-1 against Baker Tilly Spartans.
In the first game at Sports Road, Wanderers missed a few chances that would have eased them to victory, but scored the only goal of the game in the 39th minute when a Mark Bavis free kick, 30 yards from goal on the right hand side of the pitch, was delivered into the 6 yard box where Steve Everest prodded the ball into the net.
Further chances went begging in the second half for Wanderers, and they were then forced to defend to see out the win when Andrew Wylde was sent off after 58 minutes when the referee gave a straight red card for a challenge on the half-way line. Although Wanderers were forced to defend, French Kiss created little, rarely used their spare man to effect, and never pushed defenders or midfielders forward to claim an equaliser or win.
In the second game at Sports Road, where leaders Albion took on fifth place GAS, Albion took the lead in the 20th minute when John Casey struck a blistering shot from 25 yards into the left-hand corner of the net. However, the lead did not last long when a loose ball on the edge of the Albion box was struck by GAS’s Mark Jobling, and the attempted block only looping the ball into the Albion net over goalkeeper Blake Harding.
Albion restored their lead in the 30th minute when the ball was knocked into the GAS penalty box from the left wing, after which Richard Maton controlled the ball, held off the 2 GAS centre-backs, turned and fired past the goalkeeper into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. GAS drew level again in the 35th minute when a free kick from the half-way line on the left side of the pitch was hit towards the right-hand corner of the 6 yard box, where an unmarked Daniel Clark struck the ball into the net. GAS had the ball in the net again in the 40th minute after a move down the left was crossed into the box before being dispatched. However, the officials blew for offside and 2-all at half time.
Despite plenty of endeavour, and chances at either end, neither side could summon a second-half winner.
Wanderers lead a cluster at the top of the table on 31 points, USRC second on 30 points and a superior goal difference over third place KCC Dragons, with Albion fourth on 29 points, and GAS fifth with 26 points.
In the second division, HKDC Mobsters prevailed 4-nil against CSOB, SFALO Oxford were beaten 3-1 by Antonhill, GGFC were 2-1 victors over Azzurri, HKU70’s won 1-nil against WYFC06, and The Store House Hearts won 1-nil against KCC Knights. HKDC Mobsters now lead the table with 33 points from 14 games, with HKU70’s second with 32 points from the same games, and The Store House Hearts third on 28 points.
In the third division, University were 2-nil winners against Dynamo, HOB drew 1-all with Yan Po, IES were 3-nil winners over Green Cypress, White Youth were 6-1 victors over Scorpions, and Darts drew 2-all against HKUSA. University now lead the table with 38 points from 14 games, with IES second with 33 points from the same games.
In the fourth division, Power 22 lead the division with 35 points from 13 games, HKSS second with 33 points from the same games, and Grasshoppers third with 29 points from the same games.
Allan Jackson has been involved in Soccer for more than 40 years as a player, referee, administrator and freelance writer.