Sun Hei know size of their task
Defending champions Sun Hei will need nothing less than a two-goal advantage over Happy Valley to keep their title hopes alive when the two sides meet in the Coolpoint First Division League at Mongkok Stadium today.
Valley, however, need just a draw to claim the league title. With two matches left, Valley lead their arch-rivals by three points. A victory by Sun Hei will put the two local giants on level terms.
Should that be the case, their position will be first decided by their head-to-head record this season and Sun Hei, who lost to Valley 3-2 in their first encounter, will therefore need a two-goal victory to overtake their rivals.
Sun Hei, who returned from the Maldives on Thursday after playing in the Asian Football Confederation Cup, had tried to postpone today's match citing a disrupted league programme following the cancellation of two league matches last Sunday which involved all top three teams - Valley, Sun Hei and Kitchee.
However, their appeal was overruled yesterday by Hong Kong Football Association officials.
Sun Hei's first-choice goalkeeper Domingos Chan is still suffering from a shoulder injury and is likely to be replaced by Chan Ka-ki, while Valley's Cheung Sai-ho and Guy Ambassa are both doubtful starters.
Meanwhile, South China escaped the big drop when they narrowly defeated fellow strugglers Xiangxue Pharmaceutical 2-1 in yesterday's relegation battle at the Mongkok Stadium.
Once dominant South China ended the season with only 16 points, while Xiangxue remain at the bottom of the table with 10 points from 15 games.
With one game left, Xiangxue will be relegated to the Second Division.
Au Wai-lun gave South China plenty of hopes when he opened the scoring in the sixth minute.
However, Xiangxue struck back through Kwok Wing-lok's 18th-minute strike. South China secured their victory in the 60th minute when Au scored his second, this time from the penalty spot.
In the other game, Citizens defeated Sunray Cave 2-0 with Yuan Yang scoring both goals, in the 68th and 77th minutes.
Sunray ended the season with 15 points, three more than fellow strugglers Fukien, who are second from the bottom though they have two games still to play.