HONG KONG—Khalsa-A arrived at King’s Park last Sunday expecting to leave for celebrations to wrap up the Premier League title with five games to run, needing three wins to take the title.
Instead they will have to keep the Champaign and celebrations on ice for a little while longer after Hong Kong Football Club-A aspired to outpace Khalsa-A in an entertaining game on a 5-3 winning run.
With the game less than five minutes in, it was Football Club-A to draw first blood through a quick run and into the D from Yan Adams and he repeated the effort during a melee five minutes later close to the Khalsa goalmouth by popping in a high ball to make it a 2-0 lead for the Sports Road outfit.
But just as quickly Khalsa replied back with their own brand of fast paced hockey through their drag flick Malaysian expert Rahim Razie and then leveled the game before the half-time with an Ishtiaq Ahmad goal for 2-2.
After the break it was a different club side coming off the bench as they seemingly swamped Khalsa-A with raids down either flanks but had it not been for the vigilance of the Khalsa-A’s defense the result may have been worse.
Nic Mcewan piled on the misery for Khalsa when he powered in a goal, then a close range push by Nick Lee extended Club’s lead to 4-2 and Silas Poon finished from a rebound for club to take a comprehensive 5-2 lead.
With both sides pressuring each other through fast attacking runs hoping to catch the other off guard, the resulting pressure ensured both sides would have many missed opportunities but it was Razie putting Khalsa-A back into the game when he caught the HKFC-A defense off guard as he rounded three players at the top of the circle before blasting home his shot to reduce the deficit to 3-5 two minutes from time.
Dev Dillion, Khalsa-A skipper had to admit today was not their day.
“They [HKFC-A] were better than us on the day. Our guys knew we are in a good position to take the title with six matches to go, so that might have caused us to be complacent and it cost us today…we had an off day but we are confident of bouncing back,” said Khalsa skipper Dev Dillon, while praising their rivals on their win.
Hong Kong Football Club coach Koen Pijpers was pragmatic about their game and put the win on how they played as a unit both defensively and how they did not let go the many chances that went their way.
“We scored our chances very well and in the end we did not make a lot of mistakes against them; that’s where Khalsa always likes to profit from and we defended very well, played very concentrated and we kept our cool and in the end countered them with some nice goals. But it was more about the organisation was right, our playing game was good but also our defense was good and we played very solid and did not give them a lot of chances,” said Pijpers, whose win keeps them second behind Khalsa-A.
In earlier matches, Pak-A beat KNS 4-3 and SSC-A beat HKCC 3-0.
Next week HKFC_A play HKCC-A at Sports Road, and at King’s Park, KNS-A play Khalsa-A and SSSC-A meet Pak-A.
Eddie So is a seasoned sports reporter and photographer having worked for several media companies over the last 20 years.