So spectacular as Caroliners rout Happy Valley

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 May, 2004, 12:00am

South China's all-Cantonese side have been playing some of the finest football in the SAR all season, but without the strength and experience of an imported striker have front had little to show for it, until yesterday. On the wide open expanses of the Hong Kong Stadium the Caroliners effectively eliminated defending champions Happy Valley from the title race with an unbelievable 5-0 victory.

'Before the game I was scared, I was worried,' admitted South China manager Andy Lee Yun-wah. 'But this is our best result and best performance of the season.'

The judge, jury and executioner was right winger So Yiu-lun who scored a spectacular opening goal, driving the ball into the far corner of Fan Chun-yip's goal from outside the penalty area in the 35th minute, and went on to play a major part in the next five goals.

'This season I've had a chance to get into the team, which has given me confidence and experience,' said the 26-year-old, who had had limited playing time before the departure of stalwart Lee Kin Wo last summer. 'When I scored the first goal it gave me and everyone else a lot of confidence.'

Nearly a goal down within 40 seconds when Ambassa Guy struck the post from close range, South China were transformed by So's strike.

So won the penalty that Yeung Ching-kwong converted in the 53rd minute, then supplied scoring passes for Yeung's second in the 70th minute and for Chan Chi-hong five minutes later, before creating the space for the Lee Chi-ho cross that Luk Koon-pong dived to head home in injury time.

The victory left Happy Valley with only a mathematical chance of remaining in the championship picture, a chance so slim that even Pythagoras wouldn't have been interested and a chance that was quickly snuffed out by Sun Hei in the second match of the day.