Late strike sinks Dickies

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 December, 1999, 12:00am

South China winger Chan Chi-hong broke Instant-Dict hearts with a last-minute goal that snatched a 1-0 win for the defending champions in last night's Senior Challenge Shield semi-finals at Siu Sai Wan Stadium.

South China will play arch-rivals Happy Valley in the final on December 23 after the league leaders booked their berth with a 4-2 win over Sai Kung in an earlier match.

With extra-time beckoning, Chan broke the deadlock thanks to a bit of luck - and a some dreadful defending by Instant captain Dejan Antonic.

Chan eluded his marker before his left-wing cross rolled into the net after Yugoslav Antonic - who otherwise had an outstanding game - could only help the ball on its way while trying to clear.

South China director Peter Leung Shou-chi was a relieved man, saying it wasn't the prettiest way to win.

'Yes, we had a bit of luck. Dejan [Antonic] had a great game and it was a shame that the match should be lost for them that way.

'We now have to prepare for our final match against Happy Valley and we can expect another tough match,' said Leung.

'We're very happy to go through. It looked as if it was going to extra-time. Luckily we scored in the last minute. Sometimes in football, you win this way,' he said.

In an evenly contested semi-final, South China and Instant-Dict shared the chances, although Instant-Dict midfielder Tam Siu-wai had the best chance when he was sent through only to see his shot blocked by Mick Leonard in the 42nd minute.

Earlier, Happy Valley's Brazilian striker Tomy Giacomeli scored a brace of goals as the league champions stormed to the final.

Giacomeli struck in the 17th and 46th minutes, with midfielders Lee Wai-man and Kwok Man-tik scoring Valley's other goals.

Cheung Kam-wa and Poon Man-chun scored for Sai Kung.