Sun Hei rely on Geronimo to scalp champions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 12:00am

Sun Hei are banking on new Brazilian signing Hilton Assis Geronimo to deliver the goods again as the club tackle league champions Happy Valley in tonight's Senior Challenge Shield semi-finals.

Geronimo was in lethal form last time out, scoring five goals on his SAR debut in Sun Hei's 8-0 rout of Hong Kong Football Club last Sunday and club officials are expecting more good things from the 25-year-old at Mongkok Stadium.

Sun Hei secretary Chung Chi-kwong said: 'We feel more confident now because we know we have a good striker who will be dangerous to our opponents. If Hilton shows the same kind of form that he displayed against Club then I think Happy Valley could be in for a rough time.'

Happy Valley are expecting a tricky encounter against Sun Hei and their hopes of containing Geronimo was dealt a severe blow when Cameroonian defender Gerard Ambassa Guy suffered an ankle injury last Sunday in Valley's 3-0 Shield win over Double Flowers.

Happy Valley team manager Lim Fong Kee said Guy had a 50-50 chance of starting the game although the club could also be missing midfielders Kwok Yue-hung, Kwok Man-tik and Cheung Sai-ho, who are all on the injury list.

'Guy being injured doesn't help matters for us. Guy was kicked on the ankle last Sunday and he remains doubtful for the match. We will put someone on Hilton,' said Lim.

'But you cannot be judged by your last performance. Hilton scored many goals against a very weak side and it won't be easy for him to score goals against us.

'We'll be happy to play our own style and not worry too much about one person. We'll just get on with the job and hopefully get the result that we are looking for.'

Meanwhile, South China take on Buler Rangers in tonight's second Shield semi-final and are looking to avenge their 1-0 reversal to the same club in the league last month.

It was a defeat that started a poor run in the league for South China, who suffered a humiliating 3-2 defeat against struggling Xiangxie Pharmaceutical last month. But the Caroliners returned to winning ways last time out by beating Xiangxie 3-1 in their first-round Shield match.

South China will be without centre-back Cristiano Cordeiro, who is still recovering from a broken rib, although the Caroliners are confident they will overcome Rangers and book their berth in the final, which will be played on March 23.

'We were caught off guard last time against Rangers and I think the boys will be ready for revenge this time,' said South China team director Peter Leung Shou-chi. 'The situation is slightly different this time because this is the Shield and we will definitely be out to make amends for our defeat against them last time. We will be looking for nothing less than a win and I am confident we will do it this time.'