HONG KONG—The biggest match of the first half of the HKHA Premier Division 2016-17 season took place at King’s Park on Sunday Dec 4. SSSC-A, leaders of the standings with 24 points faced Khalsa-A just two points behind on 22 points.
It was a match to see if Khalsa could win and overtake SSSC to lead at the halfway stage or if SSSC could prevail with either a draw or extend their lead with a win – it was a mammoth match with a lot at stake.
The game was fast and entertaining from the start, with amazing skills on display. Both teams mounted wave after wave of attacks but both defenses held firm for the first 15 minutes of play, Khalsa then gained man advantage in the SSSC goal zone and forced a penalty corner from which they scored low down to the goalie’s right – much to the delight their many supporters.
SSSC equalized from a penalty corner with 16 minutes of the half remaining. SSSC followed this up quickly with a long hit up-field by Muhammad Bashir to Satwinder Singh, who showed outstanding skills to round the defenders to move ahead 2-1. SSSC, now “on fire”, pressed again and Muhammad Suleman converted a hit across goal with 3 minutes of the half remaining, for SSSC to go into the break at 3-1.
There were no more scores until 12 minutes left on the clock when Khalsa’s Inderpal Singh (newly returned to Khalsa from KNS) attacked from the right, SSSC goalie ran towards him and Inderpal fell. A penalty stroke was awarded and Khalsa scored to make it 2-3. The crowd was now at boiling point urging on their sides.
With 5 minutes remaining Khalsa attacked again and Arshad Muhammad’s hard drive into the goal area was defected into the goal to make the score 3-3. Both teams tried desperately to convert a winner but 3-3 was the final result.This result leaves SSSC on 25 points and Khalsa on 23 points at the top of the standings.
In the earlier matches the young, agile KNS-A team was firmly in the driving seat against an experienced but slower Pak-A side with KNS coming away with an 11-3 win. Also at King’s Park, a close match between Shaheen-A and KCC-A ended in a 3-3 draw.
At Hong Kong Football Club HKCC-A beat HKFC-B 5-2 while HKFC-A won 3-0 against Valley-A, to retain 3rd place in the standings with 22 points.
Premier division matches will now take a break until January 2017.
A copy of the standings table and leading scorers list are shown below.
HKHA Premier standings table December 2016:
Top scorers in HKHA Premier Hockey December 2016: