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South China appoint Kocian as new coach

South China have confirmed Jan Kocian will be the club's new coach next season. Kocian, the national team manager of Slovakia from 2006 to 2008, was sacked by Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Sainty in May after only five games. He will arrive next month to help revive South China after a disappointing season. "He has vast experience in Europe and was the national team manager of Slovakia and assistant team manager of Austria. We are impressed by many of his ideas, which will bring a new outlook for the team." said South China chairman Steven Lo. Kocian will pay special attention to his players' physical condition, which was called into question after South Korean coach Kim Pan-Gon left last December. The Slovak will also introduce more advanced training methods to the club. Lo would not disclose details of Kocian's salary, but it is believed his annual package is worth over one million Hong Kong dollar. "Our new budget will be reduced following the departure of the two former Premier League stars - Nicky Butt and Mateja Kezman, but it will still be over twenty million Hong Kong dollar in order to challenge for all domestic titles," said Lo.


Cup-hero Kezman bids farewell in style

Mateja Kezman struck in the 103rd minute as South China beat NT Realty Wofoo Tai Po 2-1 after extra-time to lift the FA Cup yesterday. Kezman, who will be leaving the city today after a four-month spell with the Caroliners, made the difference after the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes at Hong Kong Stadium. A hesitant Tai Po captain Chan Yuk-chi failed to clear the ball inside the box, leaving Kezman, who came on from the bench in the second half, to nip in and make no mistake from close range. Both coach Chan Ho-yin and Kezman were delighted with the hard-earned result following their success in the League Cup earlier this season. "I can go home with a nice feeling and satisfaction with another cup title added to my record," said Kezman. "It has been a fantastic four months playing here and it's nice to finish the season with two cups." Kezman also disclosed that he had received offers from the United States and Qatar, but would not make any decision until after a holiday with his family in Belgrade. Meanwhile, acting coach Chan Ho-yin will lose his job as the head coach of South China as the club has made no secret of employing a new coach to replace him. "I am still very young in the field of coaching and there are many things I need to learn," he said.


Roberto named player of the year

Roberto Losada crowned Footballer of the Year after helping Kitchee to win their first league championship in 47 years. The Spaniard and six of his teammates were named in the Best XI of the season, while Josep Gombau was singled out for the Coach of the Year honour. Losada, also known as 'Chino', came back to Hong Kong on Sunday especially for the presentation. "I knew there was the possibility of winning the award, and even if I couldn't win it, I wanted to be here to support my friends," he said. The 'HK Barca' striker played for La Liga side Valladolid from 2003 to 2006, was instantly success in the city with nine goals in his first season, including an important header against South China in a 2-0 win in their second-round encounter. "Next season will be more difficult as all the teams including South China will come at us. We have to work hard to keep up the good performance," he said. Kitchee boss Ken Ng Kin paid tribute to coach Gombau. "We wanted to play a passing game, like we did this season, for many years but it did not materialise until the arrival of Gombau two seasons ago. He is the one who gets the right players for the right chemistry."


Hong Kong held to 1-1 draw by Malaysia

Hong Kong and Malaysia played out a 1-1 draw in a friendly at the Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground last night for preparing the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung changed his side from the one that lost to the Malaysians 2-0 at Kuala Lumpur four months ago. The omission of Chan Wai-ho gave the captaincy on the night to Kitchee midfielder Lo Kwan-yee, and there were debuts for TSW Pegasus defender So Wai-chuen and Tuen Mun Goalkeeper Wei Zhao. Hong Kong had a great chance to break the deadlock in the first half, but Chu Siu-kei rattled the crossbar from a close range. After the restart, Hong Kong took the lead in the 60th minute, with good build up play by Lam Ka-wai and Kitchee teammate Lo Kwan-yee resulting in the chance for Chan Siu-ki, who headed the ball into the bottom corner. Six minute laters, Striker Abdul Hadi scored on his international debut to help Rajagopal's side draw at the Siu Sai Wan Stadium last night. Hong Kong will travel to Saudi Arabia for the first leg of World Cup Qualifier on July 23 before playing the return leg at home on July 28.


Cup-hero Kezman bids farewell in style

Mateja Kezman struck in the 103rd minute as South China beat NT Realty Wofoo Tai Po 2-1 after extra-time to lift the FA Cup yesterday. Kezman, who will be leaving the city today after a four-month spell with the Caroliners, made the difference after the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes at Hong Kong Stadium. A hesitant Tai Po captain Chan Yuk-chi failed to clear the ball inside the box, leaving Kezman, who came on from the bench in the second half, to nip in and make no mistake from close range. Both coach Chan Ho-yin and Kezman were delighted with the hard-earned result following their success in the League Cup earlier this season. "I can go home with a nice feeling and satisfaction with another cup title added to my record," said Kezman. "It has been a fantastic four months playing here and it's nice to finish the season with two cups." Kezman also disclosed that he had received offers from the United States and Qatar, but would not make any decision until after a holiday with his family in Belgrade. Meanwhile, acting coach Chan Ho-yin will lose his job as the head coach of South China as the club has made no secret of employing a new coach to replace him. "I am still very young in the field of coaching and there are many things I need to learn," he said.

 Canon Cup 2011: Villarreal beat Kitchee 3-0

BMA League champions Kitchee were beaten by Spanish club Villarreal 3-0 in the Canon Cup 2011 at Hong Kong stadium last night. The visitors brought five internationals, who helped Spain to lift their first-ever World Cup Champion last year. In front of about 7,000 fans, the 'HK Barca' played brightly in the first half, using his speed to test the defence of the visitors. Both sides played to a goalless draw in the first half. After the warm up, Villarreal became more ambitious, which enjoyed more chances to score in the second half. The first goal came from their veteran captain Marcos Senna, who sent a long-range shot to the left corner of the net in the 57th minute. After conceding one goal, the 'HK Barca' tried to give more pressure on the visitors. However, Losada Roberto missed a golden chance from a close range in the 60th minute. In the 88th minute, substituted midfielder Manuel Munoz extended the advantages for the visitors when he connected Nakata's pass from the left and shot to the far post. Two minutes later, young striker Fofo rewarded for his insistence with a tight shot to secure a win for the "Yellow Submarine". "Villareal played very well tonight." Kitchee boss Ken Ng said. "This is a good experience for us ... I believed that we can do better in the Barclays Asia Trophy."

 Villarreal brings World Cup stars to Hong Kong

Villarreal players have arrived Hong Kong to prepare the Canon Cup 2011 against league champions Kitchee at Hong Kong stadium tomorrow. The 'Yellow Submarine' brought five internationals from Spain, the World Cup champions - Joan Capdevila, Carlos Marchena, Diego Lopez,  Santiago Carloza and captain Marcos Senna. They were welcomed with open arms by Kitchee boss Ken Ng, who is praying Villarreal, who finished fourth in the league, will have sufficient pulling power to attract the crowds for the Canon Cup encounter against his team. "They have gone out of the way to make this game happen. There was some worry over the scheduling of the commercial flight, resulting in a charter being arranged at the last minute. But they have graciously decided to bear most of the extra cost," Ng said. Kitchee, who will have ex-Japan international Hidetoshi Nakata as a guest player, will celebrate their 80th anniversary with this game, which will raise funds for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Tickets is available at the HKFA's office and Hong Kong Stadium. For more information, please visit www.kitchee.com

 City feeling empty after Pegasus failure

Hong Kong will not be represented in the knock-out stage of the AFC Cup after TSW Pegasus were beaten 3-2 at Indonesian side Sriwijaya yesterday. Mahadirga Maranando Lasut scored the winner in the 88th minute, lifting Sriwijaya into the last 16 alongside Group F table-toppers Song Lam Nghe An of Vietnam. It was an agonizing ending to the campaign of Pegasus, who needed just a point from their final two matches to advance into the next round. However, they blew a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 to 10-man Song Lam Nghe An at home last week then leaked another late goal six minutes after Lee Hong-lim had drawn them level 2-2 at Jaka Baring Stadium. A 30th-minute strike by Lai Yiu-cheong had actually given the visitors a bright start, but former Happy Valley striker Keith Gumbs equalized for the Indonesians six minutes later and Supardi fired Sriwijaya ahead on 59 minutes. Hong Kong champions South China also failed to advance past the group stage after thrashing by Chonburi F.C. 3-0 at Hong Kong Stadium two days ago.

Kitchee clinch league crown

Kitchee clinched the BMA First Division title after thrashing Hong Kong Football Club 7-2 at H.K.F.C. Stadium last night. The victory completed their successful season with 44 points, which was sufficient for them to win their first league championship in 47 years. Defending champions, South China, who are on 40 points and with one game to finish the season, only have shadows to chase. Kitchee, who needed a win to confirm their crown, got a 4-0 lead in the first 45 minutes. After the restart, Liang Zicheng and Losada Roberto extended the advantages for the 'HK Barca'. When capatin Lo Kwan-yee scored in the 72nd minute, they knew it would be a night of celebrations. Kitchee boss Ken Ng attributed their success to the two victories over South China earlier in the season. "That was an important result, otherwise we would not have been here tonight," said Ng. "We started playing Barcelona-style football last season and although it did not work out in the beginning, we kept our faith in it. All our efforts have finally paid off." Kitchee will retain most of the members of their present squad, including four Spanish players who arrived last summer as they prepare for next season when they represent Hong Kong in the AFC Cup along with Senior Shield champions Citizen. Their next target will be the Canon Cup against La Liga side Villarreal at Hong Kong Stadium on May 27. The match is also part of celebrations for the club's 80th anniversary.

Pegasus blow chance against Vietnamese

TSW Pegasus were minutes away from securing a place in the last 16 of the AFC Cup but a pair of late strikes gave Vietnam side Song Lam Nghe An a 3-2 win over their hosts in the Group F clash at Tseung Kwan O Stadium last night. Tournament debutants TSW were leading 2-1 in the first half thanks to a brace by Carrijo. The visitors then suffered a huge setback after the break when Tuan Anh was sent off for an unprofessional foul. However, Bryan Kavin Elroy equalized in the 84th minute before Hoang Thinh Ngo grabbed a last-gasp winner for the visitors. The result left TSW needing a point in their final group match against Sriwijaya of Indonesia on Wednesday to guarantee their progress into the knock-out stage. Pegasus and Song Lam Nghe An top the group on nine points, just two clear of Sriwijaya, who were beaten 2-0 by bottom side VB of Maldives in Male. On the other hand, South China returned from Indonesia yesterday, where they lost 4-2 to home team Persipura. The result ensured that they were eliminated from the regional tournament, though they have one game still to play in group H. The Caroliners were semi-finalists two years ago and finished top of the group last year before losing in the last 16.

Kitchee and Villarreal play to aid quake relief

Villarreal will leave Spain the week after La Liga's season finishes and take on Kitchee in the Canon Cup at Hong Kong Stadium on May 2. According to the press conference, this friendly match will be a fund-raiser for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Villarreal feature two members of the Spain team that won the World Cup - Joan Capdevila and Carlos Marchena - and five who helped their nation win Euro 2008. The team also boast Italy international Giuseppe Rossi. On the other hand, Kitchee are currently top of the First Division table with one match left. Striker Roberto Losada, who played for Mallorca and Valladolid, hopes they can take on the visitors as Hong Kong champions, as their last league match will be on May 6. "I believe this will be the only major sport event in Hong Kong for the Japanese disaster relief purpose," said Ken Ng Kin, president of Kitchee. "Kitchee are doing very well in the First Division this season while the Spanish side have also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and are currently fourth in La Liga." He added.

Pegasus go top with 3-0 win over V.B.

TSW Pegasus look to be headed into the next round after a 3-0 thumping of V.B. of Maldives at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground last night. Itaparica, Carrijo and Chan Ming-kong were on target for Pegasus as they went top of Group F with nine points, leapfrogging Indonesia's Sriwijaya who were beaten 4-0 at Vietnamese side Song Lam Nghe An. In another match of the day, ten-man South China were left to bemoan conceding an injury-time penalty equalizer as they were held to a 3-3 draw by East Bengal in a thrilling AFC Cup Group H match. The result, coupled with Chonburi's 4-1 win over Persipura Jayapura, left South China's hopes of advancing into the last 16 hanging in the balance. They lay third in the group on five points, two adrift of both Chonburi and Persipura, with two games to play against the two group leaders.

Baresi add luster to Sevens

Five-time European champions Liverpool and Argentine giants Boca Juniors will make their debuts in next month's HKFC Citibank International Soccer Sevens. The tournament will also see a first appearance by former Italy captain Franco Baresi, one of the game's greatest defenders, who will lead a team representing AC Milan Soccer Schools. "It is the first time we have had a major South American team involved in the Soccer Sevens and we're sure Hong Kong fans will be looking forward to seeing Boca Juniors, together with Liverpool, in action here," tournament treasurer Mick Lonergan said. The event, which will be held from May 13-15 at Hong Kong Football Club, will feature 28 teams - 16 in the Main competition and 12 in the Masters. Joining Liverpool and Boca Juniors in the Main competition will be defending champions and five-time winners Aston Villa. Tickets can be bought through HKFC or Laxton Marketing Consultants. For details, please visit www.hksoccersevens.com

Unanimous vote for football reform

Hong Kong Football entered a new era last night with the Football Association unanimously adopting a string of constitutional changes, a prerequisite for the government injecting millions to revive the ailing sport. At an extraordinary general meeting where a 75 per cent majority of members was required to approve the changes, all 84 representatives from 45 clubs voted yes. "The voting result shows we are on the right track with the full support from the members. They all understand the urgency of the changes." FA chairman Mr. Brian Leung said. The changes, which deal mainly with improving the association's governance and structure, are required by the government's "Project Phoenix", a consultancy report made by British-based company Scott Wilson last year on reviving local football. Major changes include the appointment of independent directors, a broader membership and a set of clear and transparent election codes. With reference to the project, A premier league is set to kick off in the 2012 season to replace the existing First Division, and a world class training academy would be built in Tseung Kwan O. "We have seen how Hong Kong people are passionate about football and with the support of the government, we are confident there will be a good future for football." change agent leader Mark Sutcliffe said.

Kezman scores as South China beat East Bengal

Mateja Kezman fired South China to a 1-0 win over East Bengal of India at Hong Kong Stadium last night, injecting life into the Caroliners' quest for AFC Cup glory after a stuttering start to their campaign. Kezman, who turned 32 on Tuesday, scored the winner in the 69th minute although South China were indebted to goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai, who made several crucial saves to preserve the SAR champions' first win in Group H. "It feels so good to score," Kezman said. "It was a difficult situation. It's not easy when you always have two or three defenders around you." The former Serbia international was full of praise for Yapp, saying the Hong Kong 'keeper has the potential to play for bigger overseas teams and deserves a chance to get a trial at European clubs. The result was just the response coach Chan Ho-yin demanded from his side after their 3-0 mauling at Thai side Chonburi and it put them back in contention for a place in the next round ahead of the return match in East Bengal on April 26. However, Kezman will miss that match after getting his second yellow card of the tournament, but he will be available for crunch matches against Persipura Jayapura on May 3 and Chonburi on May 10. Indonesian side Persipura lead the group on seven points after their 3-0 win over Chonburi last night, with the Thais and the Caroliners on four. In Group F, another SAR's representative TSW Pegasus beat V.B. Sports Club 5-3 in Maldives, with Leandro Carrijo Silva completing a hat-trick in nine first-half minutes, to complete a big day for Hong Kong teams.

Kezman ready for vital clash

South China seek to secure the points against East Bengal of India in a crunch AFC Cup Group H match tonight at Hong Kong Stadium. Both teams have picked up just one point each from their opening two games, leaving them bottom of Group H and trailing both Chonburi and Persipura Jayapura by three points. It means the clash at Hong Kong Stadium takes on extra significance with defeat for either team likely to spell the end of their dreams of reaching the last 16. However, South China coach Chan Ho Yin is unconcerned over his side's underwhelming start and remains confident they will reach the last 16. "We've only played two games and you can see every team has lost points already and will continue to lose points." he said. "I'm confident that we can win our remaining four games, as are all the players and the coaches." Meanwhile, their star striker Mateja Kezman has put his birthday celebration on hold as he wish the Caroliners to finally kick-start their bid to progress from the group stage after a stuttering start to their campaign. his wish is for the Caroliners to finally kick-start their bid to progress from the group stage after a stuttering start to their campaign. "My birthday wish is to score some goals and help South China to victory." said Kezman.

Bull Warriors helped Kitchee to beat South China

Kitchee regained top spot and moved a step closer to win the First Division League title after beating rivals South China 2-0 at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground yesterday. In front of a crowd 3,500 fans, Roberto headed home from a close range to put the 'HK Barca' ahead in the 40th minute. Luzardo powering in a 20-yard free-kick to extend Kitchee's advantage in the 78th minute. Kitchee had slipped into their slick passing game and they were rewarded with a goal in the 40th minute after their Spanish striker Roberto highest to nod in to the far right hand corner past Yapp Hung-fai for the first goal of the game. South China came out with more aggressive after the break and Wellingsson da Souza had a great chance to pull one back but his shot was horribly wide from eight yards. In the 65th minute, Nicky Butt was sent off by the referee after pushing Jordi to the ground and the sent off produce a wobble to the Caroliners. In the 78th minute, Luzardo score from a 20-yard free-kick to seal the victory for Kitchee. After the win, Kitchee moved to the top of table with 35 points, while South China were in the second spot, one point behind Kitchee. In another match of the day, Sun Hei beat TSW Pegasus 4-3 in Tsing Yi.

South China lift League Cup

South China were crowned League Cup champions when they beat TSW Pegasus 2-1 in the final at Yuen Long Stadium yesterday. The game was played with plenty of pace and effort in the first half. Both sides looked to close the ball down quickly and launch quick counterthrusts on winning possession. However, South China proved that they were the better side as experienced Nicky Butt set the Caroliners on their way with his 11th-minute free-kick and Wellingsson De Souza, pictured right against two TSW defenders, doubled the lead in the 26th minute. In the second half, TSW played aggressively and enjoyed more of the possession. Their dividend was paid as Chan Ming-kong pulled a goal back for TSW in the 78th minute to set the stage for a nervy finish. TSW stepped up the pressure again, but the South China defence stood firm. The Caroliners eventually closed the game out to seal a deserved win.

South China thrashed by Chonburi 3-0

South ChinaSouth China were thrashed 3-0 by Chonburi F.C. in Group H of the AFC Cup at Chonburi PE Stadium last night. Natthaphong Samana broke the deadlock in the 27th minute, tapping in a low cross from Ekaphan Inthasen after a through ball from Therdsak Chaiman. Skipper Therdsak proved the driving force behind Chonburi's success and he netted the second goal from the spot with seven minutes remaining before setting up Arthit Sunthornphit to add a third goal in stoppage time. South China midfielder Nicky Butt and forward Mateja Kezman garnered the most of the attention but they were stifled by Chonburi・s dogged defence. Both sides had equal chances in the first half. However, Chonburi going in at the break with a narrow lead following Natthaphong's goal just before the half-hour mark. The second goal came in the 83rd minute when Therdsak instigated a counter-attack that resulted in Fabiano being felled from behind in the box by Joel Padilha, who was also booked for his trouble. Therdsak converted from the spot but was forced into a re-take for encroachment by his team-mates. The midfielder made no mistake at the second attempt. However, there was still time for Therdsak to feed Arthit and he finished from a wide angle to put extra gloss on the final score line in stoppage time.

Pegasus lost to Sriwijaya in AFC Cup

TSW Pegasus lost to Sriwijaya 2-1 at Tseung Kwan O Sports last night and went to the third place of Group F in the AFC Cup. Veteran striker Keith Gumbs gave the visitors an early lead and although Carrijó drew the hosts level in the second-half after Itaparica had earlier missed a penalty, the Sriwijaya defender's dramatic late strike clinched the points. TSW Pegasus boss Chan Hiu Ming had singled Gumbs out as a potential danger man and after three minutes the veteran Saint Kitts and Nevis international showed why, with the 38-year-old former Happy Valley and Kitchee forward finding space in the box before finishing neatly from an acute angle to give Sriwijaya the lead. However, Sriwijaya keeper Ferry Rotinsulu rushed out and bundled the forward over as both went for the ball to concede a penalty. Brazilian midfielder Itaparica stepped up to take the spot kick but the ball was blocked by Sriwijaya's keeper. In the second half, Pegasus equalised in the 71st minute when Leandro Carrijó was sent clear and he raced between two defenders to slot the ball past the advancing keeper. However, there was further drama to come in stoppage time as Diano smashed a 30-yard free-kick that moved in the air and beat Li to snatch the points for Sriwijaya.

Hong Kong go through to the second round of Olympic qualifiers

Hong Kong eased into the second round of qualifiers for the 2012 Olympic Games on Wednesday as three first-half goals in the second-leg of their first round clash secured a 7-0 aggregate victory over the Maldives. A 4-0 first-leg defeat left the Maldives with the proverbial mountain to climb in the return fixture and any hopes that Indian Ocean islanders may have harboured of an unlikely turnaround all but evaporated with 20 minutes gone when Lam Hok-hei scored the first of his two goals. Stephen Ha added a second just four minutes later before Lam netted what transpired to be the last goal of the game a minute into first-half stoppage time. Hong Kong join ten other Round one winners and the thirteen highest ranked teams (based on the qualifiers and tournament proper at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing) in the Olympic Football Tournament London 2012 Asian Qualifiers Round two draw, which takes place at AFC House on March 30.

South China draw 1-1 with Persipura

Chan Siu Ki's second-half header helped South China come from a goal down to claim a 1-1 draw against Persipura Jayapura at Hong Kong Stadium last night. The home side had the better of the AFC Cup Group H clash against a side that played in last year's AFC Champions League but fell behind in the 39th minute when a slick move ended with Boaz Solossa slotting home. However, Chan restored parity just before the hour mark with neither side then able to fashion a winner in the remaining 30 minutes. South China started the better and enjoyed much of the possession in the match. It was to prove a momentary respite for South China, however, as the visitors went in front in the 39th minute with a clinical effort. Crisp interplay around the edge of the box between Imanuel Wanggai and Solossa ended with the former slipping in the latter and the Persipura skipper calmly side-footed into the far corner of the net. South China started the second period with plenty of intent and were back on terms in the 58th minute. A long ball down the right from Brazilian defender Joel found Mateja Kezman and the former Chelsea forward・s cross was headed forcefully into bottom corner by Chan. In the remaining time, South China pressed for the winning goal while Persipura looked to hit the hosts on the counter attack but neither could breach each other's resolute defence. In another Group H match of the day, India's East Bengal held Chonburi F.C. of Thailand to a 4-4 draw.

Pegasus start AFC Cup with a win

Two goals in the last 10 minutes saw TSW Pegasus fight back from a goal down to defeat hosts Song Lam Nghe An 2-1 in their AFC Cup Group F clash at Vinh Stadium. Nguyen Hong-Viet put the Vietnamese ahead in the 13th minute when he nodded home following a good cross from the right. The game was livened up after the break but the Vietnamese side missed Hong-Viet when he picked up his second booking and was sent off in the early stage of second half. Buoyed by their numerical advantage, Pegasus pushed forward with attacking intent and at last found a lifeline when Song Lam centre-back Nguyen Huy Hoang handled the ball in his own box. Itaparica, who had been at the heart of the prior move for Pegasus, successfully converted the ensuing penalty. That only served to further weaken Song Lam・s spirits and a severe lapse in concentration from their defenders created the winner for Chan Hiu Ming・s charges. Defender Ambassa Guy added weight to his side・s forays into the Song Lam box and in the 84th minute he was presented with a free header which found the back of the net to silence the crowd. Song Lam coach Nguyen Huu Thang attempted to shake things up in attack when he brought on Nguyen Trong Hoang in the 87th minute but the Vietnamese international midfielder was unable to turn the game around for his side as Pegasus began their AFC Cup campaign with a spirited victory. In another Group F match of the day, Maldives' V.B. Sports held Sriwijaya of Indonesia to a 1-1 draw.

Hong Kong beat Maldives 4-0

Hong Kong put one foot in the second round of qualifiers for the 2012 Olympic Games on Wednesday with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Maldives in the first-leg of their first round clash. The home side took the lead with just 60 seconds at the Hong Kong Stadium played with To Hon To getting his first of the night. The Maldives settled after their early setback and Hong Kong fans had to wait until midway through the second-half to celebrate their side・s second goal, which came in the 64th minute courtesy of defender Yuen Tsun Nam. James Ha added the third in the 83rd minute before To completed the rout with his second three minutes later. Hong Kong will be confident of securing their place in the next stage on the road to London 2012 when the tie resumes on Male on March 9 with the Maldives hoping that home field advantage and the East Asians' long trip to the Indian Ocean islands can help them overturn a four-goal deficit.

South China advance to League Cup final

Mateja Kezman scored a brace to gave South China chairman Steven Lo Kit-sing the perfect present on his wedding anniversary when he fired the Caroliners to the League Cup Final. Under fire after he and fellow star signing Nicky Butt failed to impress in their first three matches together, Kezman made amends by scoring twice in South China's 4-2 victory over Kitchee last night at Hong Kong Stadium. The result secured the Caroliners a place in the March 27 final against TSW Pegasus, who needed a late equalizer from Lee Hong-lim and an injury-time strike from Gerard Ambassa Guy to defeat H.K.F.C. 2-1. Before the game, Kezman had vowed to make it a memorable wedding anniversary for Lo, and the club chairman showed his appreciation by showing him the heart sign with his fingers after the Serbian's first goal. After his previous appearances for South China ended in a league loss to Tai Po and defeats to Guangzhou Evergrande and Ulsan Hyundai in the Asian Challenge Cup, Kezman is confident the goals will continue to flow for him. "I've been waiting for these goals to come. And now the pressure is all gone," Kezman said. Lo said he was happy to see South China return to winning ways but was even more delighted that the strike partnership of Kezman and Chan Siu-ki was beginning to blossom. The performance was a timely boost ahead of their campaign in the AFC Cup which kicks off on March 1. Kezman opened the scoring in the 32nd minute and, after Roberto Losada equalized five minutes after the interval, Leung Chun-pong struck in the 56th to restore South China's lead. Kwok Kin-pong made it 3-1 in the 79th minute and Kezman added his second four minutes later before Gao Wen scored a late consolation.

Hong Kong lost to Malaysia in friendly

Hong Kong lost to Malaysia 2-0 in an international friendly in Kuala Lumpur last night. The last meeting between two teams can be traced back to the 2006 World Cup Asian Qualifiers, with Hong Kong beat Malaysia 3-1 in Kuala Lumpur. Back to last night's match, Malaysia have won the AFF Suzuki Cup recently and seemed to be more confident than the SAR team in the process of first half. On the other hand, Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung decided to adopt a defensive style and seek for opportunities to score. In the 43rd minute, Safid Rahim met a quick pass from the right and opened the scoring for the Malaysians. After the break, Hong Kong were the aggressors. Hong Kong had a golden opportunity to pull back but Chu Siu-ki's effort was foiled by the bar in the 62nd minute.  However, Despite the SAR team dominated the proceedings in the second half, they had to concede one more goal through a counter-attack from the Malaysians in the last minute of the match. After the defeat, coach Tsang Wai-chung admitted that the SAR team was lost of concentrate in the match, causing several errors in the defensive line. However, He was happy to see that his young players can gain experiences during the match.

Teda lift Challenge Cup

Chinese Super League runner-up Tianjin Teda lifted the Red MR Asian Challenge Cup with a 5-3 win over Guangzhou Evergrande in the penalty shootout after both sides played out a goalless draw in the regulation and extra times at Hong Kong stadium on Sunday. The Tianjinians, who impressed with four goals thrashing of K-League side Ulsan Hyundai three days before, were aiming to win the cup by defeating Evergrande. However, Evergrande were the first to attempt an opening in the 20th minute when Chinese international striker Gao Lin turned in neatly inside Teda's penalty area but his right foot toe-poke went straight to keeper ZhaoYanming. Teda responded two minutes later and they could have taken the lead had not Wang Xinxin's powerful right footer off around 25-yards found the crossbar after beating the Guangzhou keeper Li Shuai. Teda's Wang Xinxin got another chance in the 40th minute but his right-footer from just outside the box off a Marko Zoric pass missed the target narrowly. Teda were the better side in the second half but produced few clear chances. In the 68th minute, Yu Dabao spanked one in from the edge of the Guangzhou box, but captain Zheng Zhi got across quickly to make a vital block. When the game went to penalties, Evergrande missed two of penalty kicks and Teda was the final winner of the cup. In another match of the day, Ulsan Hyundai beat host South China 4-2 to claimed the third place of tournament.

Evergrande, Teda meet in final

Guangzhou Evergrande advanced to the final of Red MR Asian Challenge Cup after beating host South China at Hong Kong Stadium yesterday. South China named their best available eleven, with Nicky Butt and Mateja Kezman were on the starting lineup. It was an enterprising first half with both sides looking to take the game to each other. After the  break, South China decided to replace Butt  and Kezman with Li Haiqiang and Chan Siu-ki in the 46th and 58th minute respectively. Guangzhou's solitary goal of the match was scored by Brazilian striker Luiz Guilherme in the 69th minute when his thumping strike from just inside the box on the right gave Yapp hung-fai no chance at all. After conceding a goal, the Caroliners kept on running and combating in their bid to find a equaliser. Chan siu-ki came close in the last quarter but his goal bound effort was blocked on the line by Guangzhou defender Zhang Linfan. The match finally ended 1-0 in favour of Guangzhou and qualified to the final of Challenge Cup. In another match of the day, Chinese Super League runner-up Tianjin Teda also booked a ticket for Sunday's final after thrashing K-League side Ulsan Hyundai 4-0.

Kitchee beat Sun Hei to regain top spot

Kitchee regained top spot after defeating Sun Hei 3-1 at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground yesterday. The 'HK Barca' hosted Sun Hei at home ground knowing that a win would take them top of the table with one point lead over South China, who have suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat at the hands of NTRW Tai Po on Saturday. Kitchee began the match strongly and all the pressure yielded result in the eighth minute after Lam Ka-wai shot a brilliant goal from the edge of the box. In the 37th minute, Luzardo chipped the ball into the goal from a close range to extend the advantage of Kitchee. After the restart, Jordi was brought down by Lai Ka-fai in the box. Jordi stepped up and slotted a perfect penalty to keeper's right. In the 75th minute, Mamadou Barry pulled back a late goal for Sun Hei. With Kitchee's victory, the ball is now in South China's court as they find themselves with the prospect of ending the season without a League title after suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Tai Po on Saturday, even though they have signed big names Nicky Butt and Mateja Kezman recently. In another match of the day, Goals from Carrijo and Chen Po-Liang helped TSW Pegasus to beat 10-men Tuen Mun 2-0.

Ng Wai-chiu returns to Hong Kong

Hong Kong international Ng Wai-chiu is returning home after almost 10 years playing on the mainland. The 29-year-old defender signed a one-and-a-half year contract with South China yesterday as the Caroliners continued their recruitment drive to strengthen their hopes in the AFC Cup. Ng has been with Chinese Super League clubs Shanghai Shenhua and Hangzhou Greentown for the past five seasons. "No one will doubt Ng's class as he has played in the China Super League for a couple of seasons. He has been working with many of our players at the international level and it will be easy for him to blend in the team." SCAA chairman Steven Lo said.  Since the transfer window reopened this month, South China have brought five new faces - Chan Wai-ho, Joel, Giovane, Butt, Kezman and Ng Wai-chiu. "South China have the longest history in Hong Kong soccer and their team management has been very professional," Ng said. "I am happy I can join a team with such good quality."

Kezman signs for South China

South China have followed up their signing of Nicky Butt with the capture of former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman. The 31-year-old Serbian who was most recently at Paris St Germain but had his contract terminated by mutual consent towards the end of last year has also played for Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven. "Having played the majority of my career in Europe I wanted a new challenge in my life," Kezman said. "The opportunity to play for South China excites me and I feel I can offer the team many things. I have maintained fitness over the winter and feel ready to play and score goals." Kezman added. "I want more success in my football career and believe South China FC can bring that, I have spoken to the manager and seen the team play and I believe this is the right club for me, I'm confident this will be a fantastic experience for all involved." The Caroliners are Hong Kong's most successful club but are determined to claim continental glory this season in the AFC Cup and chairman Steven Lo believes the capture of Kezman and Butt shows the extent of the club's ambitions. "To attract a striker of Mateja's quality is fantastic for South China, as a club we hope his ability and experience will be a great asset to our team," he said. "Mateja has scored goals in many of the world's top leagues and we hope he will do the same for South China. Everyone at the club is overjoyed by the acquisition of Mateja and the fans should be delighted at what he can offer South China."

Asian giants to join Lunar New Year fest

The press conference for the arrangement of 2011 Lunar New Year Cup was held at L'Hotel yesterday. Two times K-League champions Ulsan Hyundai, Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda and Guangzhou Evergrande will participate in the annual tournament. This year's tournament was sponsored by Red MR Ltd. and was renamed to "Red MR Asian Challenge Cup". The Challenge Cup will be held on February 3rd (Lunar New Year Day) and February 6th (forth day of the Lunar New Year) at the Hong Kong Stadium. Winners of the competition will receive the prize of 1.5 million dollars. "This tournament comes in a good timing, it provides an opportunity for our original team members to play with the new mates, to test our endurance and cooperation, and to play our spirit of South China." SCAA acting coach Chan Ho-yin said.

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Citizen lift Senior Shield after shootout

Citizen came back from a three-goal deficit to beat South China 7-5 in shootout at Hong Kong stadium yesterday, giving them to lift their first-ever Senior Shield. South China took the lead on 13 minutes, Li Haiqiang connected a Schutz's pass from the right and he made no mistake with a shot from the edge of the box. Ten minutes later, South China extended the advantage when new signing defender Joél produced a perfect header that left the keeper grasping for air. In the 36th minute, Gioviane made it 3-0 when his shot was sent to the far post. However, Baise Festus pulled back one goal for Citizen just before the first half whistle. After the restart, Citizen reduced to ten men after Paulinho was send off for handling the ball inside the box. The penalty kick was taken by Chan Siu-ki but his shot was well saved by the keeper. This was the turning point of the match. After Chan's missing of penalty, Citizen players shown more confident and played aggressively.  Sham Kwok-keung and Tam Lok-hin scored for Citizen in the 55th and 88th minute respectively. With a tremendous effort put by Citizen players, they were able to hold South China to a 3-3 draw after 120 minutes. When the game went to penalties, Tse Tak-him was the hero as he made two saves for helping Citizen to win 4-2 after four kicks apiece. "We never gave up even when we were three goals down and that's why we came out as the eventual winners," said Citizen team-director Calvin Pui. "This is a beautiful result, not only because we won the match in such a hard way, but also because the players showed great teamwork and fighting spirit. I hope our performance can attract more fans in future."

Tai Po falls to surprise defeat

NTRW Tai Po produced a surprising result of the 2010/11 League Cup with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of H.K.F.C. at Tsing Yi Sports Ground yesterday. Two first half goals from Jaimes Mckee and James Ha were enough for H.K.F.C. to knock-out Tai Po and celebrate their first-ever appearance in the semi-finals of League Cup. It was a decent start for H.K.F.C. as their keeper Rudolf Hollaender turned a Tai Po shot into a good save after ten minutes. In the 19th minute. Jaimes Mckee put H.K.F.C. in the lead with a header from a close range. Just three minutes later, young midfielder James Ha scored with a strike from the edge of the box to double football club's lead. After conceding two early goals, Tai Po were starting to play more aggressively. Dividends paid for them when To Hon-to pulled back a goal in the 26th minute. However, H.K.F.C. were defending well in the remaining time. In the final minute of stoppage time, Chan Lap-ming curled an effort goalwards, but Hollaender dived to push the ball behind and H.K.F.C. were qualified to the Semi-finals of League Cup. In another match of the day, Kitchee also through to the semis as they thrashed Tai Chung 4-1.

Guangdong win Interport Cup

Guangdong XI team have won the 33rd Hong Kong-Guangdong Cup 4-2 on aggregate. Hong Kong hold the Guangdong side to a 1-1 draw in the second leg at Hong Kong stadium last night but Guangdong had won the first leg 3-1 in Guangzhou three days ago. In the first half, Hong Kong threw all it had at a gutsy Guangdong team. However, Li Jian scored just before the half-time whistle to put Guangdong a  1-0 lead in the first half. After the restart, Sham Kwok-keung levelled the scoring for the SAR team when he connected a pass from Lo Kwan-yee and scored from close range in the 59th minute. However, the effort of the Citizen F.C.'s winger was not enough to overcome the two goals advantage erected by Guangdong in the first leg. The SAR team was also unlucky as they hit the bar twice through Sham Kwok-fai and Bai He. Substituted Gerard Ambassa has the ball in the back of the net in the 82nd minute but he has strayed offside. About 3,200 supporters at the Hong Kong stadium were to be disappointed the result in the end. "We have two balls hit the bar" head coach Tsang Wai-chung said "Our players have good effort but we are unlucky tonight." After the match, veteran left back Poon Yiu-cheuk announced that he will retire from international duty following the Hong Kong-Guangdong Cup. 

Hong Kong lost 3-1 to Guangdong

Hong Kong lost 3-1 in the first leg of the 33rd Hong Kong-Guangdong Cup at Guangzhou yesterday, giving them a lot of work to do on the return leg at Hong Kong stadium next Tuesday. Guangdong XI manager Chao Yang fielded a strong lineup that included Shenzhen Ruby F.C. and Guangdong Rizhiquan players, while Hong Kong fielded some young players for the preparation of the Olympic Games qualifying competition. In front of a crowd 15,000 fans at the People's Stadium. Guangdong's Li Jianhua fired the home side ahead in just the sixth minute, before captain Yuan Lin doubled the lead four minutes later. Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung made changes for looking to come back from two goals behind, with Ju Yingzhi was replaced by his Citizen F.C.'s teammate Sham Kwok-fai. In the second half, Hong Kong played brightly as Lo Kwan-yee scored in a right-wing cross from Kwok Kin-pong to give the SAR team a lifeline 1-2 in the 51st minute. However, The SAR team paid for their misses in the 70th minute when substituted Ye Weichao passed a wonderful ball for Huang Fengtao to score from close range. Then, Chan Siu-ki tried to give the SAR team a second away goal to carry back with them, but his header was saved by the keeper of Guangdong. Now the SAR team will need to come back from their 3-1 defeat in the return leg at Hong Kong stadium next Tuesday.

Kitchee beat South China to regain top spot

Kitchee regained top spot after beating South China 4-3 in a thrilling First Division match at Hong Kong stadium last night. The 'HK Barca' visited South China knowing that a win would take them top of the table. On the other hand, South China were high on confidence after their win over TSW Pegasus 2-1 last week. With missing their key player Nicky Butt, it seems to be a difficult match for the Caroliners. Kitchee captain Lam Ka-wai shown them what skillful football was as he put the visitors ahead through a brilliant free-kick after three minutes, and he also scored a brace in the 33rd minute. Jordi's header made it 3-0 before the break. South China played more aggressive after bringing striker Chan Siu-ki and Carrijó in the second half. The change become effective when Chan Siu-ki scored a brace, and assisting Schutz to score one goal for the Caroliners. However, the passion of home fans were cooling suddenly when Xu Deshuai was sent off in the 71st minute after collecting two yellow cards. Four minutes later, Jordi sealed the victory for Kitchee with a fury header from a close range. "We are well prepare for this match and deserve to win today." Kitchee manager Ken Ng said. "South China is a good team but I believe our team have enough quality to chase the league title with them." After the win, both Kitchee and South China had 22 points, and Kitchee regained top spot with goal difference advantage.

Butt agrees South China deal

Former Manchester United star Nicky Butt has signed contract with local giants South China. The out-of-contract former England midfielder scored in a guest appearance for the club last week and has been persuaded to extend his stay. The 35-year-old will come here in January and remain in the SAR until the end of season. He said: "I had an enjoyable time out there, the experience was good, so I have decided to go for it." In his only appearance for the club so far, Butt levelled with a curling free-kick against TSW Pegasus before squandering a spot-kick in a 2-1 win at Hong Kong stadium. "We are very happy," South China manager Steven Lo said. "We just received confirmation this afternoon from his manager. People saw last week what Nicky can do and he has already shown South China and Hong Kong that he will bring something special to the game here." Mr. Lo also disclosed that he was negotiating with a current English Premier League player as South China aim to keep their BMA Hong Kong First Division title, and shake up the Asian Football Confederation Cup (AFC Cup). "We can't say who he is or from what club but we are working very hard to get the player to come in the new year and play for the rest of the season," he said after a 2-1 win over Sun Hei in the League Cup first round. "This will strengthen our chances and give fans of South China and of football in Hong Kong something to really get excited about."

Tough draw for South China in AFC Cup

The Asian Football Confederation conducted the draw for the 2011 AFC Cup in Kuala Lumpur last night. Reigning League champion South China faces a tough test in the annual cup competition as they were put in Group H alongside Chornburi of Thailand, Indonesian Cup champion Persipura Jayapura and Indian giants East Bengal. Despite the difficult draw, South China spokesperson said that the club could benefit from facing these teams. "We're happy to be drawn against clubs that we did not played before. We can learn new experiences from them." With the "3 plus 1" foreign player regulation (three foreigners plus at least one Asian player), South China will looking for a high quality Asian player before the competition begins. The Caroliners will start their AFC Cup campaign against Persipura Jayapura at home on Mar 2, 2011 and then travel Thailand to meet Chronburi two weeks later. Another Hong Kong representative in the AFC Cup was TSW Pegasus, who was drawn into Group F with Song Lam Nghe An of Vietnam, Maldives side V.B. Sports Club and the loser of ACL Play-off.

Tai Chung stun 10-men Kitchee

Kitchee suffered a surprise 0-1 defeat to Tai Chung in the BMA First Division at Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground yesterday. For this match, it was important for Tai Chung to get three points in order to escape from the relegration position. They kicked off their remarkable victory with Akande Alexander's stunning run and finish on the stroke in the 74th minutes. Three minutes later, Kitchee captain Lo Kwan-yee was sent off by the referee for an unprofessional foul in the 77th minutes. Lo said that the decision was an over reaction by the referee. After having a goal and a man down, Kitchee had a mountain to climb and they were finally beat by Tai Chung 1-0. After the defeat, Kitchee secured the second place with 19 points, while Tai Chung remain stayed at the nineth place of the table. In another match of the day, NTRW Tai Po and Fourway Rangers shared a point as they played out a 2-2 draw at Tai Po Sports Ground.

Butt scores on South China debut

Former England international Nicky Butt was an instant hit in Hong Kong helping South China register a 2-1 victory over fellow title chasers TSW Pegasus in the BMA First Division at Hong Kong Stadium last night. Despite playing his first competitive match in five months, 35-year-old Butt scored a spectacular free kick in the second half to level Itaparica's goal in the 52nd minute. Although the former Manchester United midfielder then missed a penalty kick, Butt made an assist in stoppage-time, sending second half substitute Cheng Lai-hing free on the right. Cheng's pass was timely received by Carrijó who scored from close range. "It is more important for the team to win than for me to score a goal." said Butt. "This is my first match since May and I need some hard training to get match fit, but I enjoyed the game here." The former Manchester United star will return to England this week and will come back for South China if everything works out according to the plan. South China chairman Steven Lo was delighted with Butt's performance and rated the chances of the club signing the Englishman as good, as they are hoping for their first success in the forthcoming AFC Cup competition.

South China seek path to glory with Nicky Butt

Former Manchester United and England star Nicky Butt said he was teased out of retirement by an offer from South China but will delay signing until he is sure it is the right move. Club chairman Steven Lo wants Butt to join his side until the end of the season, but while the midfielder weighs up the merits of the move he will test his fitness in a league match against TSW Pegasus at Hong Kong Stadium tomorrow. Playing down British media reports that he could be rewarded with a six-figure weekly pay packet for his efforts, Butt said the details of a short-term deal are yet to be hammered out with Lo. "We haven't discussed anything like that yet," he said. "I was being offered things from Premiership and Division One teams but for me that's not a challenge anymore. "This is a new country for me and an exciting place ... I can bring my children here ... I'll have a decision over the next two or three days." Butt, who in a stellar career with United won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League winners medal, will add some experience and pulling power to Hong Kong's First Division. "We have high expectations for Nicky, he is a very experienced star at a very high level," Lo said.

Nicky Butt considers coming out of retirement with South China

Nicky Butt is on the verge of coming out of retirement after accepting an offer to train with South China. Butt, the former England, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Birmingham City midfielder who retired in May, will arrive Hong Kong next week and will feature in South China's league game against TSW Pegasus before deciding whether to remain with the club until the end of the season. "I wanted some time out of the game to concentrate on my next step either in or out of football. However I feel fit and when South China FC approached me to join them for a week's training and a game, the prospect excited me," said the 35-year-old. "The development and growth of Asian football since 2002 has been phenomenal and can be seen from the influence of Asian players in the Premiership. I am really looking forward to this new experience and the challenges it will bring." The South China chairman, Steven Lo, believes the acquisition of Butt could help South China capture next year's AFC Cup. South China reached the semi-finals in 2009 before losing to the eventual winners Kuwait SC. "Everyone is excited by Nicky's arrival and the knowledge and experience he can bring to the team," he said. "We are always looking to attract talent to strengthen our squad and this demonstrates our commitment to that. Nicky's records internationally and domestically speak for themselves and I am sure he will receive a fantastic reception when he arrives at Hong Kong Stadium.

Santa Cruz scores twice as Paraguay beat Hong Kong

Roque Santa Cruz scored twice as Paraguay strolled to a 7-0 win over Hong Kong at Hong Kong stadium last night. The Manchester City striker scored on five minutes and just past the half-hour mark as the World Cup quarter-finalists brushed aside the Hong Kong challenge in the AET Cup international friendly. For Santa Cruz, it was a rare chance to get some match fitness. The 29-year-old has appeared in just one game for City this season and has been told he can leave the club in the transfer window in January. Edgar Barreto scored on 31 minutes to put the Paraguayans 3-0 up at the break while Nestor Ortigoza scored two in the second half before Cristian Riveros completed the rout with goals on 75 and 90 minutes. Pegasus forward Lee Hong-lim had the best chance for Hong Kong, but his shot from the top of the box was tipped over the bar. Head coach Tsang Wai-chung admitted that he had little time to prepare with his side before the game having been with the under-23 side to the second round of the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

Hong Kong defeat by Oman in the last 16

Hong Kong's dream run ended with a 3-0 defeat by Oman in the round of 16 yesterday. Oman captain Ali Farah Hussian netted twice for Oman before Aman Bait Nasib scored a third on 68 minutes at Huangpu Sports Center, ending the SAR's hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history. However, It was the first time the territory had reached the knock out stages of the football tournament for 52 years. The head coach Tsang Wai-chung said it was a difficult game for his team when they conceded an early goal to Oman. However, he satisfied with the performance of his players. In another last 16 match, host China failed to reach the quarter finals, losing 3-0 to South Korea.

Football heroes score as Games kick-off arrives

Hong Kong's quest for Asian Games glory got off to a good start as our footballers reached the last 16 for the first time since 1958. They saw off Bangladesh 4-1 yesterday in Guangzhou, on the eve of today's opening ceremony for the biggest Asiad with 9,704 athletes and nearly 5,000 team officials expected to participate. Coach Tsang Wai-ching could not hide his delight. "In 52 years, it's the first time for us to get into the second round at the Asian Games. It shows our players can play better football," Tsang said. In this match, Au Yeung Yiu-chung scored twice, with the other goals coming from Ju Ying-chi and Chan Man-fai. Hong Kong finished second behind the UAE on goal difference with seven points. The SAR team will play Oman in the round of 16 at Huangpu Stadium next Monday.

Hong Kong high-fliers a cinch for place in last 16

Hong Kong's high-fliers took a giant step toward securing a place in the knock-out stage of the Asian Games football tournament with a gritty 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan last night. Chan Wai-ho struck a volley past Uzbek goalkeeper Tuimur Juraev in the 60th minute to bring the Hong Kong bench and a pocket of supporters in the stands to their feet in celebration at Guangzhou's Huadu Stadium. Counting a 1-1 draw with the United Arab Emirates in their opening game on Sunday, the SAR squad now have one foot in the next round going into their final group match against Bangladesh tomorrow. They sit top of Group E with UAE on four points, although the Middle Eastern side hold the advantage in goal difference after their 3-0 defeat of Bangladesh. Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung said they are going all out for a win against Bangladesh in a bid to top the group, even if a point may be all that is required for them to secure a place in the last 16. The Uzbeks, who face UAE in their final group match, have three points while Bangladesh is out of the running after a second successive loss. The top two teams from the six groups and four of the best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16.

Chan's timely strike rescues point for Hong Kong

Hong Kong under-23 team drew 1-1 with the United Arab Emirates in their opening game in the Asian Games Men's football tournament in Guangzhou yesterday. The UAE, one of the favourites to win a medal in the Games, took the lead in the 36th minute when defender Abdullah Mousa moved up to score. Hong Kong team organise some counterattacks to break through and succeeded in snatching an equaliser in the 80th minute through a volley from Chan Man-fai. Both teams earned a point after the draw. In another match of the day, Uzbekistan beat Bangladesh 3-0 and headed Group E with three points. Hong Kong next play Uzbekistan on Tuesday.

Butt close to South China deal

South China manager Steven Lo wrote on his blog that the Hong Kong giants was in talks with former Manchester United and Newcastle midfielder Nicky Butt. The Caroliners said that the former English International has agreed to train with the team in Hong Kong later this month and will make a decision during his stay. South China said that they were also in talks with a Central American player who represented his country at the recent World Cup Finals. They will announce the player's name in the press conference, which will conducted in December.

Hong Kong announce squad for Guangzhou Asian Games

Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung has selected a final squad of 20 players who will participate in the upcoming 2010 Asian Games, which will take place in Guangzhou from the Nov 7 to Nov 25. There was no big change for the final list as injured South China striker Chan Siu-ki was replaced by Kitchee captain Lo Kwan-yee, and Lau Nim-yat was replaced by Kitchee defender Tsang Kam-to. Hong Kong found themselves in Group E where they will face Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, and U.A.E.. Only the first two team in the group will be guaranteed passage to the second round while the best third placed team in all the groups will also advance as well.

Hong Kong U23 Squad

Hong Kong U23 Fixture
Official Website of Guangzhou Asian Games

Chelsea to compete in Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong

The Football Association, English Premier League and Barclays have announced that English Premier League Champion Chelsea will compete against Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and the Hong Kong First Division League Champion in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong next summer. The Barclays Asia Trophy is a bi-annual tournament and the only Premier League-affiliated competition to be held outside England. This is the fifth Asia Trophy, the others having previously been held in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Beijing. The four team knock-out tournament will take place over two match days on Wednesday 27 and Saturday 30 July 2011, with a final to determine the winner and a play-off to decide third place. All matches will take place in the Hong Kong Stadium. The tournament will be officiated by Match Officials of Barclays Premier League and HKFA match officials and will also be staged in accordance with Barclays Premier League Rules. The Premier League has also committed to a full programme of 'Creating Chances' activities, including coaching initiatives, refereeing schemes and community schemes to run alongside the Barclays Asia Trophy. "There is great anticipation at the Premier League in bringing the Barclays Asia Trophy back to Hong Kong. The HKFA put on an excellent tournament in 2007 and we are supremely confident they will repeat that success." the Chief Executive of English Premier League, Richard Scudamore said.

Detinho shines in Tsing Yi goal fest

Detinho scored a hat trick as Citizen beat Sun Hei 5-4 at in a thrilling First Division match at Tsing Yi Sports Ground yesterday. The 37-year-old striker Detinho was undoubtedly the star of the show and sealed a 5-4 victory to give Citizen a variable three points in the BMA League. Both sides had opted for an aggressive style of play and made the goal fest show for Tsing Yi residents yesterday. Young striker Luk Michael Chi Ho's volley opened the scoring for host Sun Hei after just two minutes. Bamnjo's header gave Sun Hei a 2-0 lead in the first half. Citizen coach Dejan Antonic brought off strikers Ju Yingzhi and Detinho in the second-half in a bid to strengthening the fire of his team and the tactical switch to pay dividends. Despite Luk Michael Chi Ho scored two more goal in the second half, the victory was the Citizen side as Detinho completed a hat trick, while Sham Kwok-fai and Ju Yingzhi were also on the scoresheet. In another match of the day, TSW Pegasus came from behind to beat Fourway Rangers 2-1 at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground. After two matches, TSW Pegasus climbed up to the third place while Citizen moved up one place to the sixth of the table.

Hong Kong U23 wins 4-Nation Tourney

Hong Kong U23 team has won the Long Teng Cup staged at Kao Hsiung Arena despite holding hosts Chinese Taipei to a 1-1 draw in the final match of the tournament on Tuesday. In their first match, Hong Kong beat the Philippines 4-2, followed by a 4-0 thrashing of Macau with Lam Hok-hei netting a brace, Tam Lok-hin and Xu Deshuai scoring one goal each. On Tuesday, against the hosts, the game was difficult for Hong Kong U23 when the hosts opened the scoring through Lo Chih-En. However, Hong Kong successfully equalized through captain Lo Kwan-yee by a penalty kick in the 75th minute, following Lam Hok-hei breach by Chen Yu-Lin. After sharing a point with the hosts, Hong Kong finished top of the table with seven points, two more than the second-placed Chinese Taipei. The Philippines and Macau claimed the third and fourth place respectively. "This is a good preparation for us before the Guangzhou Asian Games" Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung said. "I will focus on improving the weakness of our team".

Kitchee come back from behind to beat Tuen Mun 2-1

Kitchee fought back from behind to beat Tuen Mun 2-1 at Tuen Mun TSK Sports Ground yesterday. In front of a crowd 1,800 home supporters, Tuen Mun's young right back Leung Kwok-wai notched up his first goal of the season, rebounding in a ball after Chow Cheuck-fung's free-kick hit the bar in the 8th minutes. Tuen Mun maintained one goal advantage in the first half. After the break, Gombau Avram responded with a change, bringing on Cheng Siu-wai for Tsang Kam-to. The change led the 'HK Barca' to get control of the match. In the 82 minute, a great pass from Cheng Siu-wai allowed Roberto to score from a close range. Six minutes later, Liu Quankun's brilliant free-kick secured the win for the 'HK Barca'. "Tuen Mun got a big advantage from the crowd today" Kitchee manager Ken Ng said. "We had a lot of chances but suffered some bad luck with our finishing. But I was pleased with the work the team put in." After the victory, Kitchee climbed up to the second place in the league and continue to give pressure to the leaders South China.

South China Duo at White Hart Lane

South China's rising stars Kwok Kin-pong and Au Yeung Yiu-chung visited Barclays Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur for training last week as part of the SCAA-Spurs partnership, which was announced by both clubs in November last year. According to the latest news from the Spurs, talent midfielder Kwok Kin Pong and attacking midfielder Au Yeung Yiu Chung trained with the first team and learnt a lot at White Hart Lane. Both players were among the most talent young players in Hong Kong. They helped Hong Kong to beat North Korea, South Korea and Japan respectively to win the gold medal in the East Asian Games football tournament last year. South China striker Chan Siu-ki also trained with the Spurs few months ago.

Hong Kong edge India 1-0 in friendly

Hong Kong beat India 1-0 in the international friendly match at Balewadi Sports Complex last night. Both sides had chances but missed all of them in the first half. After the restart, Hong Kong dominated possession leaving India to seek the loose ball and work themselves in. The solitary goal was scored by captain Li Haiqiang in the 76th minute when he fired a fantastic volley from 20 yards to left the Indian keeper Subrata Pal with no chance. The victory kept Hong Kong's record against India in the past two meetings in a clean slate. They had also beaten the Indians in an international friendly last year. After the win, Hong Kong will take on 2010 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalist Paraguay on Nov 17 at Hong Kong Stadium.

HKFA appointed Scott Wilson as Change Agent

HKFA has appointed Scott Wilson Co. Ltd. as the change agent, which became part of the "Phoenix Project". The "Phoenix project" was advocated by the Government, which included the review and improve of football policy in Hong Kong. A consultancy study was accepted by the Government few months ago. The study recommended the HKFA to enhance its governance by engaging a change agent and recruit experienced personnel to formulate and implement its long-term strategies and development plans. "To implement the consultant's recommendations systematically, the Home Affairs Bureau will set up a football task force to be chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs with participation by the LCSD, HKFA, experts and other relevant parties who will work closely to supervise the implementation of various recommendations." The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing said.

Tai Po beat Tuen Mun 2-1 in N.T. Derby

Li Chun-yip scored a vital goal as NTRW Tai Po beat New Territories neighbors Tuen Mun 2-1 at Tuen Mun TSK Sports Ground yesterday to extend their winning run in BMA First Division League. Cameroonian striker Nke Ondoua met a corner from close range to give Tai Po an early lead in the 10th minute. 13 minutes later, Law Ka-lok took advantage of a rebound and equalized the scoring for newcomers Tuen Mun. However, the atmosphere was cooling down when the visitors retook the lead through a wonderful free-kick from Li Chun-yip in the 65th minute . "In the second half we played with more determination. We wanted to win this game." Tai Po Coach Cheung Po-chun said. After the win, Tai Po climbed up to the fourth place, while Tuen Mun remain in seventh place of the table.

Bull Warriors helped Kitchee to beat Citizen

Roberto scored a brace as Kitchee defeated Citizen 3-1 in the BMA First Division League at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground last night. Kitchee started off impressively and made numerous inroads in the opponent citadel. Roberto's header put the 'Hong Kong Barca' an early lead. But Helio levelled for Citizen through a close range strike before the break. After the restart, The former RCD Mallorca striker completed his brace with a fury strike to put the 'Hong Kong Barca' back in the lead in the 55th minute. The visitors was frustrated by the stamina of Spanish warriors when Jordi run with ball and sent into an empty net just before the final whistle to seal an impressive victory for the 'Hong Kong Barca'

Good start for the Caroliners 

Defending Champion South China beat Citizen 2-0 in their opening match of BMA First Division League at Hong Kong Stadium yesterday. A first half goal from Leung Chun-pong put the Caroliners in front and Schutz added the second after the break. The Caroliners have been below their best during a pre-season suffered by two successive defeats and Kim's team were missing Carrijó's imposing presence, so it was no real threat to the visitors. "We have good players and got the result." South China captain Li Haiqiang said. Meanwhile, The Caroliners would donate all gate receipts from this match to the sufferers of Manila hostage affair. In another match of the day, H.K.F.C. did well when they were held to a 1-1 draw with NTRW Tai Po at Tai Po Sports Ground.

Chan Siu-ki named Footballer of the Year

South China striker Chan Siu-ki has been named "Hong Kong Footballer of the Year" in the 2009/10 HKFA Hong Kong Top Footballer Awards. According to the public poll organized by the HKFA, Chan won 5288 votes while his teammate Li Haiqiang got 4053 votes. The third-place was Yapp Hung-fai. Chan scored an essential goal for Hong Kong team in the East Asian Games Final against Japan this year and helped Hong Kong to win the champion historically. For the best eleven, seven players were come from local giants South China. They were Wong Chin-hung, Chan Wai-ho, Lee Chi-ho, Kwok Kin-pong, Li Haiqiang, Tales Schutz and Chan Siu-ki. The other players were come from TSW Pegasus (Yapp Hung-fai, Itaparica) and Citizen (Xu Deshuai, Baise Fetus). For the best youth players of the year, there was no surprise for fans as Yapp Hung-fai and Kwok Kin-pong shared the honour.

FA Cup Final: TSW Pegasus 2-1 Citizen

FA Cup Final: TSW Pegasus 2-1 CitizenGoals from Lee Hong-lim and Itaparica gave TSW Pegasus a 2-1 win over Citizen in the FA Cup final yesterday. Lee Hong-lim scored his first goal in the 64th minute and Pegasus were heading for victory when Itaparica struck in the 71st minute. Paulinho's 76th minute header gave some hope for Citizen but they reduced to 10 men after Festus receiving a second booking in the 87th minute. Pegasus finally won their first FA Cup title. "The FA Cup is really special to us" Lee Hong-lim said after the game. "It's an honour for me" He added. The FA Cup winner also secures automatic AFC Cup entry next season.

South China win league title

Goals by Au Yeung Yiu-chung, Wellingsson, Schutz and a hat trick from Chao Pengfei sealed South China's 6-1 hammering of Happy Valley at Hong Kong Stadium last night which gave them the First Division League title as they finished five points clear of TSW Pegasus. This is a domestic record of 40th league title for the Caroliners. South China coach Kim Pan-Gon admitted he was delighted his side dominated the league this season. "It is good that we won here" Kim said. "It matters to me that we were best in everything this season". The league title this season also secures automatic AFC Cup entry for the Caroliners next season. Their boss Mr. Steven Lo have already expressed his ambition to lift the AFC Cup next season.


Al Riffa eliminate Caroliners from AFC Cup

South China failed to qualify to the quarterfinals of the AFC Cup following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bahrain's Al Riffa at Hong Kong stadium last night. In front of a crowd 22,000 fans, the Caroliners played well but Abdulrahman Mubarak and Husain Salman gave Al Riffa a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Although Lee Cho-ho pulled one back for the Caroliners before the interval, Ismaeel Abdulatif hit a third nine minutes from the end to seal the victory for the visitors. "Our players played very well, and their spirit was very good." said SCAA head coach Kim Pan-Gon. "However, We need to improve ourselves as a team." he added. The Caroliners now focus back on the local league, who will meet Tai Chung at Kowloon Bay on May 16.



Tsang hints at possible Nägelein call-up
Newly appointed Hong Kong coach Tsang Wai-chung reassure supporters and journalists alike that he is well aware of Shenzhen Ruby's Hong Kong born midfielder Andy Nägelein. "I'm following him." explained the Hong Kong new coach in a press conference at HKFA headquarter. "After Andy returns, his performance is aware by Hong Kong fans and local media." "I will attend a game at Shenzhen to consider whether he will include in my plan for coming matches". According to an interview by a local press, The 28-year-old midfielder also expressed his desire to return Hong Kong and play for the representative team. Meanwhile, Tsang will also observe Hangzhou Greentown defender Ng Wai-chiu during his mainland visit.


Official website of Shenzhen Ruby F.C.
Andy Nägelein @ Wikipedia




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