The teams started by putting each other’s skills to the test, but the visitors were in with the first scoring opportunity in the 39th minute and successfully converted a penalty by Manoel Santos, putting the South China Caroliners in front.
Caroliners front-man, Alessandro Celin scored another goal in the 73rd minute of the second half with a well-timed shot that gave the Kitchee goal keeper no defensive option.
South China then scored a goal in the 82nd minute by Hong Kong international star Lee Hong-lim.
Kitchee managed to break loose and scored their only goal for the game in stoppage time.
But a counter attack by Martins Dhiego converted a penalty for the Caroliners, leaving the defending champions (Kitchee) hopelessly in second place in the overall standings.
BC Rangers, currently in 5th position, had a draw with Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei in a very competitive match also on Sunday at the Aberdeen Sports Ground that led to a 2-all draw.
Meanwhile, at the Tai Poo Sports Ground, Woofoo celebrated a 2-1 win over Southern. The two goals were scored by Jing Teng’s header and Ye Jia crossing it into the Southern’s goal box.
Sadly for Yokohama FC, they took a beating from Tuen Mun in Mongkok, losing 2-4.
On Friday (April 12) however, Sun Pegasus and Citizen bumped heads at Yuen Long Stadium with both lacking any goals (0-0).
With two rounds remaining in the season, South China have their hands on the 2012-13 Hong Kong Football Association’s RedMR 1st Division League cup—their 5-point lead and commanding 10 goal difference over Kitchee means that to lose the title the Caroliners would need to lose both games and Kitchee win both of theirs by a big margin. A draw for South China this weekend and a big win to Kitchee and there remains a mathematical chance that Kitchee are still in the title race. A win this weekend to South China and they can lift the cup.
Meanwhile, the relegation battle at the bottom end continues. As many as seven teams are still a mathematical chance of finishing as one of the last three, where they will drop to a lower division next season.
In key title matches that may decide the championship, Sun Pegasus will host Kitchee on Friday night, 8.00 pm, at the Yuen Long Stadium; while, Southern will host South China on Saturday afternoon, 2.30 pm, at the Aberdeen Sports Ground.
Vincent P. Potgieter is a sports writer from South Africa based in Hong Kong.