Kitchee go four clear at the top

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 October, 2005, 12:00am

Kitchee maintained their excellent early season form as they went four points clear at the top of the Hong Kong first division with a 1-0 win over Buler Rangers at Hong Kong Stadium.

Young Kitchee striker Chan Siu-ki helped his side grab the points with a thundering header in the 75th minute.

But the ambitious club had to play almost the entire match with just 10 men after defender Szeto Man-chun was sent off in the 10th minute.

Rangers' Godfred Karikari was also given his marching orders as both teams finished with a man down in the top-of-the-table encounter played before a paltry National Day holiday crowd of just 1,659.

Kitchee coach Dejan Antonic was a relieved man after the final whistle as his side now lead the standings on 10 points after four matches. Buler remain in second place on six points after playing a game less.

'We played more than half the game with 10 players and we showed we were very organised and very disciplined. We played well until the final whistle and we concentrated on the match well,' said the Yugoslav coach.

'Chan Siu-ki's goal was also something.

'We have been training on set pieces for a long time and we have been training hard.

'This time, we scored from this. It was a good goal,' said the former Instant-Dict captain.

Chan rose high to send a powerful header past Cheung Wai-hong after receiving a left-wing cross from Cheung Kin-fung.

His goal came just five minutes after Karikari was sent off for a second bookable offence after fouling Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng inside the box.

Earlier in the first half, Szeto was sent for an early shower after he received his marching orders for a vicious foul on So Loi-keung just two minutes after receiving a caution in a frenetic opening spell when three yellow cards were dished out in seven minutes.

But Rangers couldn't make their numerical advantage count, although they came closest to scoring in the 17th minute when Fan Weijun drew goalkeeper Wang off his line before drilling a shot that was blocked. Yip Chi-ho struck the rebound into the side netting.

Rangers had another chance when Wisdom Fofo Agbo's header was cleared off the line by Cheung Kin-fung in the 61st minute of the match.