Lim blasts Valley 'dreamers'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 April, 2002, 12:00am

Happy Valley team manager Lim Fong Kee criticised his players for 'playing as if in a dream' following their first-round FA Cup loss to unfancied Double Flowers at Mongkok Stadium yesterday.

Happy Valley lost their second match in three games as they were sent spiralling out of the season's remaining knockout trophy after Double Flowers held them to a 1-1 draw at the end of extra-time before winning 4-2 on penalties.

It was not the kind of result league champions Happy Valley had anticipated. Happy Valley have only the league championship to play for, although they are in a strong position of winning back-to-back titles.

Lim was furious that his side had lacked 'hunger and drive' as Double Flowers, languishing at the foot of the league table, scored their biggest triumph this season - and their third win on the trot.

'They played better than us. They tried harder than us. It's as simple as that. We were playing as if we were still in a dream. Our defeat had nothing to do with injuries or reserve players,' fumed Lim.

Happy Valley were missing skipper Cheung Sai-ho, who will go under the knife tomorrow to repair torn knee ligaments, and influential winger Lo Kai-wah who was nursing an ankle injury. The pair were sorely missed as Happy Valley failed to make any sort of impact against a resilient Flowers.

Happy Valley winger Chan Chi-hong put his side ahead with a quick-fire third minute goal, but Happy Valley defender Wong Wai-tak threw Double Flowers a lifeline when he scored an own goal a minute later. Double Flowers did well to hold Happy Valley at bay with goalkeeper Xiao Guoji in outstanding form.

Having made a string of fine saves during the match, Xiao continued his good work when he kept out Chan Chi-hong's spot-kick in the penalty shootout after Happy Valley forward Keith Gumbs had blazed his effort over the bar.

Double Flowers were successful with all four of the attempts with Chiu Chung-man, Barnes Colly Ezeh, Cheung Yiu-lun and Lee Wai-wo spot on.

Double Flowers coach Chan Hon-fai said: 'This is a great result for us and the boys were on a high before the game because we had won our previous two games. We were confident we would win the penalty shootout.'

Double Flowers will meet Sun Hei in the first FA Cup semi-final at Mongkok Stadium on Thursday. South China will take on Buler Rangers in the other semi-final.