Rangers pile on woes for lowly Dickies
Instant-Dict's hopes of qualifying for the second phase of the Ericsson First Division were dealt a severe blow when they were surprisingly beaten 2-0 by Rangers at Mongkok Stadium last night.
Instant-Dict remain second from the bottom of the eight-team standings after Cheung Yiu-lun and Wong Chun-yue scored in each half to put the champions in a precarious position.
'Obviously, by looking at the table you can see that we are in a serious situation,' said Instant-Dict team director Ken Ng, knowing his team must finish in the top four if they are to have any chance of retaining their title.
'We will need to have a think about what we are going to do,' he said.
Later in the evening, South China stretched their unbeaten run to five matches after defeating Sing Tao 2-0 despite having Ailton De Araujo sent off early in the second period. Au Wai-lun scored both goals for the Caroliners.
Instant-Dict's recent run of defeats continued 11 days after they were trounced 4-0 by Yee Hope.
The champions lost 1-0 to Golden last week before they were dealt their latest blow against a team who are growing in confidence.
Under the guidance of former Hong Kong Sports Institute coach Lai Sun-cheung, Rangers have turned themselves from also-rans to near title contenders - all in the space of a few weeks.
Rangers were last beaten in a 3-0 defeat by Happy Valley on January 14 but coach Lai said his team were blending into a solid unit.
'Our hard work is paying off. The boys have been training very hard during the past few weeks and you can see that on the pitch. We are unbeaten in three matches and we hope to finish among the top four in the first phase,' he said.
Cheung shocked Instant-Dict when he scored his team's first goal in the 28th minute.
Wong scored after confusion in the goalmouth in the 50th minute to seal the points for Rangers, who moved to fourth spot.
Meanwhile, South China's Au scored his fifth goal in five matches as the Caroliners moved to second spot.
Au opened the scoring in the 39th when he headed home from Lee Kin-wo's right-wing cross.
He added to his tally by nodding home Chan Chi-hong's cross in the 71st minute .
South China were earlier reduced to 10 men when Brazilian defender De Araujo was sent off for his second bookable offence in the 50th minute.
He had earlier been cautioned for a reckless tackle on Anto Grabo in the 38th minute.
In other news, the Hong Kong Football Association selection committee has picked a 25-strong Hong Kong Olympic squad.