Kitchee overcame challengers Sun Pegasus 3-1 on Sunday (Jan 19) to regain their 7-point advantage over their rivals South China, who had temporarily reduced their lead at the top of the Hong Kong Football Association Championship First Division standings the previous day with a 4-1 victory over Citizen.
In Saturday’s (Jan 20) game South China won 4-1 against Citizen after falling behind and then scoring 4 goals in the last 10 minutes.
Citizen took the lead in the 25th minute when Yuto Nakamura forced home the rebound after South China goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai had parried Shum Kwok-keung’s header from Shum Kwok-fai’s cross for a 1-0 half time lead.
South China began a blistering 10 minutes of play when they equalised in the 81st minute – Lee Hong-lim was played in by Joao Pereira to fire home to begin the match-winning run of 4 goals
South China took the lead in the 83rd minute when Lee Chi-ho diverted Joao Pereira’s shot, and further increased the lead in the 85th minute when Vincent Weijl finished from Lee Hong-lim’s cross.
South China sealed the win with their fourth goal in the 89th minute when Kwok Kin-pong broke down the left hand side before eventually shooting past Citizen goalkeeper Tse Tak-lim.
In Sunday’s game, Kitchee opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Christian Annan’s solo effort bursting through the Sun Pagasus defence and then slotting past goalkeeper Ng Yat-hoi. They took that 1-nil lead into the half time break.
Kitchee doubled their lead in the 80th minute when Annan found Juan Belencoso, who finished the move off. The same player added his second and Kitchee’s third in the 83rd minute, when he converted Alexander Akande’s cross.
Sun Pegasus pulled one goal back with an 89th minute penalty scored by Admir Rascic, but Kitchee ran out 3-1 winners at the final whistle.
This means Kitchee, on 31 points, have a 7-point lead over South China and 12-point lead over Sun Pegasus, who have a game in hand over the two leading teams.
In the HKFA Second Division Wong Tai Sin took advantage of Saturday’s postponed fixture between HKFC and Woo Foo Tai Po to leapfrog those teams and lead the standings after their 3-nil victory over Double Flower. Wong Tai Sin now lead the division on 27 points with Woo Foo Tai Po 1-point behind. HKFC are a further point behind, but the latter two teams have a game in hand.
Yau Tsim Mong lead the HKFA third division on 40 points with Metro Gallery Sun Source 6-points behind with a game in hand, after the former’s 2-1 win over Eastern Salon Original and the latter’s 7-nil win over Fu Moon.
GFC Friends lead the HKFA Fourth Division on 26 points, despite having a bye, with Central & Western joining Sai Kung on 22 points after their 2-1 defeat of St. Joseph’s.
Yau Yee League
USRC extended their lead at the top of Division One in the Yau Yee League after a 4-1 win over Antonhill, while their nearest rivals, Wanderers, slipped to a 3-2 defeat to the Swiss XI.
USRC now lead the division on 38 points—8-points ahead of Wanderers—and are now clear favourites to win the championship.
In the game at Sports Road, Swiss took an early lead in the 4th minute when Shunsuke Nakamura fired past goalkeeper James Seddon from 10 yards after a back-heel eluded the Wanderers defenders.
After 7 minutes Wanderers equalised—a poor lobbed back pass from a Swiss defender was collected by John Gouttafangeas 10 yards out from the left hand post and volleyed past goalkeeper Hironori Ono.
Swiss regained the lead after 18 minutes, when Nakamura dribbled through the Wanderers defence and drove a left foot shot past goalkeeper Seddon from 12 yards.
Wanderers released right midfielder Simon Galvin on 68 minutes who got to the byeline on the edge of the box and crossed to the far post for Rory Hussey to rise unchallenged and head past goalkeeper Ono to equalise.
After both sides searched for the winner, 2 minutes into a lengthy period of added time, Swiss were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box where skipper Jurg Niederburger fired a left footed free kick over the wall and goalkeeper Seddon into the top right hand corner of the net. Despite desperate attempts in the last 3 minutes of added time, Wanderers failed to find the equaliser and ended up as 3-2 losers.
In the Division Two, The Store House Hearts lead the division on 30 points after their 1-nil win against White Youth—they are ahead of KCC Knights and Corinthians both on 27 points after the former’s 1-nil win against Oxford and the latter’s nil-all draw with Azzurri. Azzurri and Mobsters are a further point behind.
HKU70’s and WYFC06 are tied and the top of the Division Three on 34 points after the former’s 5-2 win over Darts and the latter’s nil-all draw.
IES still have a clear lead at the top of Division Four despite their bye, with Powere 22 moving into the second promotion place with a 3-nil win over Green Cypress.