Caroliners scrape into final via shootout

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 April, 2002, 12:00am

South China stayed on track for a unique Cup treble when they reached the FA Cup final at Mongkok Stadium last night by the skin of their teeth.

The Caroliners, who have won this season's League Cup and the Senior Challenge Shield, moved within striking distance of another cup success after defeating Buler Rangers 5-4 on penalties following a goalless 120 minutes.

Rangers' defender Li Chun-yip missed his spot kick, while South China were successful with all five of their attempts as they reached their third straight Cup final this season.

The Hong Kong giants, who are out of league contention, will meet rivals Sun Hei in Sunday's final at Hong Kong Stadium in a repeat of last month's Shield final.

Sun Hei will be aiming to end their Cup jinx after booking their final place by edging Double Flowers 2-1 in another closely-contested semi-final.

Sun Hei, who lost to South China 3-2 in the Senior Challenge Shield final last month after twice leading, needed a golden goal from midfielder Wong Chun-yue to settle the issue.

Midfielder Wong crashed home the winner a minute into extra-time to put Sun Hei through to the club's third cup final. They have previously lost in the League Cup and Shield finals. The sides were deadlock 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes. Brazilian striker Hilton Geronimo returned to the scoresheet for the first time in three weeks by scoring the opening goal in the 17th minute. But Sun Hei threw a lifeline to Double Flowers when Pau Ka-yiu scored an own goal in the 34th minute. Double Flowers had shocked league champions Happy Valley in the first round last week, winning 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the end of extra-time.