Tigers and Caroliners reach semis
Both Sing Tao and South China stormed through to the FA Cup semi-finals by thrashing their opponents in the first round games at Mongkok Stadium last night.
Sing Tao handed a 4-1 defeat to Happy Valley, while South China beat Golden 5-1. The two winners will play each other in Thursday's semi-finals.
Bosnian forwards Anto Grabo and Zeljko Gavrilovic shared Sing Tao's goals.
Veteran Grabo opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a header inside the box from a corner by Chan Tsz-kong. He then scored again in the 28th minute with a diving header from a Lee Fuk-wing cross.
Valley midfielder Lee Wai-man pulled one back for his side when he struck a low shot after a solo run in the 57th minute.
However, Valley's celebration was short-lived as Gavrilovic made it 3-1 for Sing Tao with a close-range header a minute later.
After that, Valley failed to threaten and Gavrilovic restored the Tigers' two-goal advantage striking in a weak low shot in the 76th minute.
Sing Tao's Hong Kong forward Wai Kwan-lung, who has just recovered from hepatitis, substituted for Chu Yue-tai with 12 minutes remaining. He came close to scoring shortly after, but his shot from inside the box from a Lau Chi-yuen cross sailed high.
Gavrilovic almost scored his third in the dying minutes, but he failed to connect with a Mark Grainger cross.
In the late game of the doubleheader, South China proved too strong for Golden.
With forward Dale Tempest currently in England for his mother's funeral, South China played former Chinese international winger Wu Qunli up front with Trinidadian striker Sheldon Thomas.
Young left-winger Chan Chi-hong opened the goal-fest in the eighth minute with a close-range header. Wu then showed his scoring skill seven minutes later with a left-footed shot after a pretty give-and-go with Lee Kin-wo.
Brazilian striker Leandro Simioni pulled one back for Golden in the 23rd minute with a short-range shot after his first attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Kevin Lok Kar-win. But the Caroliners went ahead 3-1 in the 36th minute when Austrian midfielder Franz Blizenec scored from six yards out.
Leslie Santos, who was creative in the midfield, made the scoresheet with a penalty in the 54th minute after Lee was fouled by Wong Kwok-pun inside the area. And he added another penalty in the 69th minute after Thomas was brought down by Brazilian defender Lamartine Da Silva, who was sent off by the referee.
Five-One-Seven will field their strongest side tonight when they play Instant-Dict in an FA Cup first-round match at Mongkok.
Even though defender Lai Ngar-yin, midfielder Kevin Hunt and Lawrence Akandu were suspended for one match by the Hong Kong FA last night, the trio will be eligible for tonight's contest as the suspensions will not begin until the next match.