Club atone for league failure with Cup win
HONGKONG Football Club lifted their first Holland Cup in eight years when they beat Pakistan Association 2-1 in an entertaining final at King's Park yesterday.
Club made up for their disappointment of surrendering their league title by winning the territory's oldest knockout trophy for the first time since 1985.
Pakistan Association had only themselves to blame for defeat.
The surprise finalists had hoped to win the trophy for the first time in their history but, despite having the lions' share of short corners, could convert only one as Club hung on grimly before a capacity crowd.
''When we lost our league title, we had to concentrate on winning this and we have done so. I couldn't be more pleased,'' said Club captain Chris Bredbury.
''They kept on winning the short corners but we just hung in there and kept going,'' he said.
Robin Markbrieter put Club ahead with a stunning solo goal when he carved through the Pakistanis' defence from the right flank before slotting home in the 14th minute.
But Pakistan Association captain Farooq Saeed equalised with an impressive goal of his own, with a beautifully struck short corner conversion seconds before the half-time whistle.
Amid the wasted short corners the Pakistanis saw their best second half chance smothered when Khalid Javed broke through only to see his lob superbly saved by Club goalkeeper Chris Watson.
Watson, who turned 39 on Saturday and has had another terrific season, was also in the thick of things when he stopped Saeed's powerful shot 10 minutes earlier.
Club's winner came in the 60th minute - thanks largely to a slice of good fortune. Dave Andrew struck a cross from the left wing and Shepherdson connected to catch the Pakistanis off-guard.
Meanwhile, Hardip Singh and Saeinber Singh scored extra-time goals as Khalsa defeated Elite 2-0 to win the HKHA Cup.
Hardip scored nine minutes into extra-time and Saeinber struck eighth minutes into the second half of the extra period.