Kwok hatches revenge plot

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 12:00am

Instant-Dict coach Kwok Ka-ming says he has a surprise in store for Happy Valley when the sides meet in tonight's FA Cup semi-finals. He said: 'We're really ready for this one.'

Kwok and his charges are determined to erase the bitter memory of losing in last year's Senior Challenge Shield final when they let down their guard and allowed unfancied Yee Hope to sneak a 1-0 win.

But before the Dickies can redeem themselves, they must first book their place in the final and Kwok was confident of knocking recent League Cup champions Happy Valley off their perch at Mongkok Stadium.

'Fortunately we have no injuries and the boys are looking forward to the match. Although our preparations are not ideal in that we haven't played frequently enough and that it has been a bit frustrating, we are really ready.

'We felt bitter when we lost in the Senior Shield final after being tagged favourites in the match. We don't want that to happen again,' he said.

Tonight's semi-finals were originally scheduled for last Saturday but had to be re-arranged for tonight because of a water-logged pitch.

Happy Valley team manager Tang Chu-sing said his team was still struggling with injuries with Brazilian centre-back Aurelio da Silva a definite non-starter.

But the team's spirits remain high after lifting the League Cup nine days ago against Sun Hei in the most dramatic fashion.

In that match, Happy Valley were staring defeat in the face when trailing 1-0 in injury time before a last-gasp equaliser from Luis Carlos Alves de Souza and then a sudden-death golden goal from Chan Chi-hong gave them a 2-1 victory.

'It's also touch and go for our skipper Cheung Sai-ho who still has a niggling injury but will be put on the sub's bench. Aurelio is definitely out and we have a few injuries here and there but our spirits remain high,' said Tang.

'It would have been great if we had played this match last Saturday, but you can't beat the weather and we have been given more time to prepare.'

Sun Hei will be looking for the perfect pick-me-up after their heartbreaking loss to Happy Valley when they take on South China in the other FA Cup semi-final tonight.

South China were beaten 3-1 by Instant-Dict in the League Cup third place playoff in their last match, but the Caroliners remain confident of claiming a place in the FA Cup final on Sunday.