The highly anticipated clash between Yau Yee League’s Division One leaders at Hong Kong Football Club’s Sports Road Ground proved why USRC are the team to beat this season.
Playing away from their home pitch, USRC were up against their nearest challenger, the Wanderers. A 4-0 win gives USRC a five point break ahead of second-placed Wanderers going into the mid-season break with all teams having played 11 matches.
USRC vs Wanderers
The match was the early game at Sports Road and, as expected, was a tense and physical tussle.
After a fairly scrappy first twenty minutes, where neither goalkeeper was called to make a save, USRC finally made the breakthrough. A throw in on the right wing was worked across to the middle of the pitch on the edge of the penalty box; USRC left back Shaun Melwani fired a left foot shot low past Wanderers goalkeeper James Seddon into the left hand corner of the net.
Wanderers sought to get the equalising goal before half time, but were unsuccessful despite a couple of chances. Accordingly, USRC took the 1-0 lead into the break.
The Wanderers kept the intensity up in the second half and in the 46th minute a chance came, but it proved to be their undoing. They crossed a ball to the far post, Danny Beattie headed back across the 6 yard box, but two USRC defenders managed to block Rory Hussey and Neil Shonhard’s attempts to force the ball over the line. Eventually the goalkeeper retrieved the ball, only to be barged by Hussey who was booked for the incident.
However, this led to an unsightly melee involving a group of 10 players from both sides.
Hussey was booked a second time and then sent off and the remonstrating USRC defender also booked.
Play resumed in the 58th minute and, with Wanderers down to 10 men, USRC’s Tem Hansen was allowed to run free with the ball past two defenders to the edge of the penalty box, where he rifled a left foot shot low past Wanderers keeper James Seddon.
USRC extended their lead in the 63rd minute, when a USRC forward flicked the ball over the heads of two Wanderes players on the left hand side of the penalty box. Paul Ngue ran on and lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper Seddon from the penalty spot for 3-0.
USRC wrapped up the win and the 3 points in the 76th minute when Tem Hansen worked down the right hand side to the byline where he crossed to the far post for Ghislain Bell to score from two yards out.
In other Division One games, Swiss XI defeated Colts 1-0, Baker Tilly Spartans defeated Antonhill 2-1, KCC Dragons defeated French Kiss 3-2, Interglobo Colloids defeated The Store House Squadron 3-1, and GAS defeated Albion 5-0.
In Division Two of the YYL, The Store House Hearts and Azzurri drew 0-all, Boca Seniors and KCC Knights drew 2-all, and Mobsters defeated Yan Po 5-0. The results saw Mobsters leapfrog The Store House Hearts to lead the division on goal difference 14 to 12. The two are on 24 points, 2 ahead of Boca Seniors.
In Division Three, HKU70’s and WYFC06 remain joined in the leadership on 27 points, after drawing in their top of the table clash 0-0.
In the Division Four, IES maintained top spot after a 3-1 win over Bapcoll to extend their lead at the top of the table. Power 22 moved back into promotion contention with their win and, Rising Sun’s and Youth Coaches losses.
Canbo Senior Shield
There were no games in the Hong Kong Football Association Championship this weekend as most teams were involved in the Quarter Finals of the Canbo Senior Shield.
On Friday (Dec 6) the First Quarter Final of the Canbo Senior Shield saw South China defeat BC Rangers 3-1 and progress to the Semi-finals.
After a goalless first half, South China opened the scoring in the 49th minute when Joao Pereira shot past BC Ranger’s goalkeeper Li Jian.
BC Rangers equalised in the 61st minute when Lee Gilhoon’s pass found Tales Schutz who fired into the net.
In the 90th minute, South China were awarded a penalty for a foul and this was duly converted by Diego Martins.
In stoppage time, Martins broke through the BC Rangers defence and found Lee Wai-lim, who slotted home for South China.
In the Second Quarter Final, Royal Southern defeated Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei 2-1.
Royal Southern opened the scoring in the 6th minute when a long throw from Chan Cheuk-kwong eventually fell to Jonathan Carrillm, who fired into the net off of a Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei defender. Carrill doubled the score for Royal Southern when he scored his second after 33 minutes by heading in Ip Chun-long’s free kick.
Yuen TsunNam reduced the deficit for Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei in the 89th, but Royal Southern held on to progress to the Semi-finals.
In one of Sunday’s games, Sun Pegasus won 1-0 in the Third Quarter Final against Happy Valley – scores were tied and the result was decided by a penalty, scored by Admir Rascic in the 22nd minute to take Sun Pegasus to a Semi-final berth.
In the Fourth Quarter Final, Eastern Salon progressed at the expense of Citizen after they Won 4-2 on penalties after the game ended 3-3 after extra time.
Citizen opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when Shum Kwok-fai met Yuko Nakamura’s cross to score.
Eastern Salon equalised in the 58th minute when Citizen failed to clear a corner and Roberto Fronza volleyed in.
Citizen regained their lead immediately in the 59th minute when Shum Kwok-keung controlled So Loi-keung’s pass to bet Eastern Salon goalkeeper Li Hon-ho.
Eastern Salon again equalised in the 61st minute when Givane Da Silva converted Tse-man–wing’s cross and took the ascendancy on the pitch. They took the lead in the 68th minute when Giovane Da Silvanodded in Li Haiqiang’s cross.
But Citizen’s Shum Kwok Keung scored to equalise in stoppage time and force the game into extra time.
Neither side could achieve the breakthrough in extra time, so the game was decided on a penalty shoot out where Eastern Salon prevailed 4-2.
The other HKFA division sides participated in Cup matches of their own.