Undefeated Kitchee remain in a strong position to win the Hong Kong Football Association’s First Division Championship holding a 7-point advantage over second-placed South China—two wins and a draw ahead of second makes it a tough task for rivals to overtake.
At the half-way mark in the 2013-14 Championship race, Kitchee is 12-points ahead of both Sun Pegasus and Eastern Salon in third—though Sun Pegasus have a game in hand. Most teams have reached the mid-point of the season, the only ones that haven’t being the currently suspended Happy Valley and Tuen Mun and their opponents in the suspended games.
Of the 11 games Kitchee has played this season, they have won 10 and drawn once—in Round 3 Kitchee and South China drew nil-all.
Of the four leaders, only Easton Salon played on the weekend.
In Sunday’s (Jan 26) game, Eastern Salon defeated Royal Southern 4-1. Royal Southern took a first half lead in the 32nd minute when Ip Cheung-long scored. However, Eastern Salon overcame them with four second half goals from Giovane Da Silva, a Robert Fronza penalty, Dylan Mcallister and a second from Giovane Da Silva.
This result moved Eastern Salon to joint third place with Sun Pegasus on 19 points, although having played a game more.
On Friday night (Jan 24) Yokohama defeated I-Sky Yuen Long 2-1. Both are tied fourth last on 9 points having won twice and drawn three times each—5-points clear of second last and safe from the relegation zone for now.
The outcome of relegation/elevation may depend upon the HKFA’s inquiry into whether the bottom two teams are able to fulfil their fixtures for the remainder of the season – both roster wise and financially—once their current suspensions expire. However, the division that teams participate in next year will also depend upon whether they meet the criteria for the new professional league to be introduced for next year.
In the HKFA Second Division Wong Tai Sin took advantage of Saturday’s (Jan 25) fixture at HKFC to temporarily extend their lead at the top of the league with a 2-nil win over their rivals.
In one of the next day’s games, Wofoo Tai Po clawed back part of standing leader’s Wong Tai Sin’s lead by winning 5-nil against Tai Chung.
In another Second Division game of particular interest at the other end of the table, Lucky Mile missed their chance to move further away from the relegation zone when they lost 2-1 against Wanchai, the team immediately below them in the table.
In a poor game generally, Wanchai took the lead in the 5th minute when a long kick from the hands of the Wanchai goalkeeper was allowed to bounce in the mid-point of the Lucky Mile half, with neither central defender attacking the ball for a header away. After the second bounce, a Wanchai forward escaped past the defenders to volley past Lucky Mile goalkeeper Paul Ting.
In the 22nd minute, Lucky Mile’s Eddie Chambers collected a lose ball 25 yards from the Wanchai team’s left hand post and drove a fine strike past the Wanchai goalkeeper into the top far right hand corner of the goal to equalise.
However, four minutes later, Wanchai broke down the left and the winger was allowed time and space to cross to the middle of the goal where the Wanchai centre forward beat Ting from a yard out.
Despite both sides creating chances, it was Ting of Lucky Mile who made more important saves, with two one-on-one clearances with forwards clear on goal. Despite these chances neither side could get another goal.
In the closest competition of the four HKFA divisions, Wong Tai Sin now lead Second Division on 30 points with Wofoo Tai Po 1-point behind having played a game less than the leaders. HKFC are a further 5-points behind the leader after the losing to Wong Tai Sin 2-nil on Saturday (Jan 25), but HKFC also have a game in hand as Wofoo Tai Po has.
Despite their loss, Lucky Mile are 9th with 9 points, 2-points ahead of Wanchai. Wing Yee and Tuen Mun FC are on 5 points and 4 points in 11th and 12th respectively.
Yau Tsim Mong lead the HKFA Third Division on 43 points, with Metro Gallery Sun Source 6-points behind with a game in hand, after the former’s 3-nil win over Ongood and the latter’s 4-nil win over Telecom.
GFC Friends lead the HKFA Fourth Division on 29 points, after their 4-1 win over Solon, with Central & Western joining Sai Kung on 25 points after the former’s 4-1 win over Tung Sing and the latter’s 3-nil defeat of Fukien.
Yau Yee League
There were no Yau Yee League games in the run up to the Chinese New Year holiday.