Valley profit from Cordeiro's misfortune

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 March, 2006, 12:00am

Happy Valley reached their second straight cup final when they edged out Sun Hei 7-6 on penalties after yesterday's Senior Shield semi-final ended in a 1-1 deadlock after extra-time at Hong Kong Stadium.

League champions Happy Valley have another chance of silverware as they marched into the season's latest knock-out trophy against Kitchee who defeated Lanwa 2-0 in an earlier semi-final that saw three red cards - two for Lanwa and one for Kitchee.

Kitchee beat Happy Valley 4-3 in last December's League Cup final for their first trophy in 41 years.

'The players will be looking forward to the Shield final on Saturday because it will be our chance for revenge against Kitchee,' said Happy Valley striker Gerard Ambassa Guy. 'Kitchee beat us in the League Cup in extraordinary circumstances [Kitchee blew a 3-0 lead before winning 4-3] and we will be itching for revenge.'

Happy Valley had to sweat it out before booking their place in the final. It took a penalty miss by reigning Hong Kong Footballer of the Year, Brazilian defender Cristiano Cordeiro for Valley, to finally go through. Cordeiro stepped up to take his sudden-death spot-kick only to see his effort hit the post.

'The game was really hard. We weren't nervous during the penalty shoot-out because we knew Sun Hei weren't fielding their number one goalkeeper,' said Guy.

Domingos Chan was taken off the pitch on a stretcher after Guy unintentionally knocked the Macau international's ankle after battling for a loose ball at the end of the second half.

Chan Ka-ki replaced him in goal, but Chan was helpless in the penalty shootout as all seven Happy Valley players were on target. Valley skipper Lee Wai-man made it 7-6 before Cordeiro fluffed his effort.

Happy Valley took a 1-0 lead two minutes into the first half of extra-time when Brazilian striker Clodoaldo de Oliveira scored his 11th goal of the season - a superb header after receiving a left-wing cross.

Sun Hei equalised nine minutes later when another Brazilian, Fladimir da Cruz Freitas, headed home from close range.

'We need to improve before the final,' said Guy. 'The boys were very tired today but they played well and we deserved to be in the final.'

Sun Hei coach Koo Luam Khen was satisfied with his side's performance despite the demoralising nature of their defeat - the latest in a series of setbacks.

'We fielded two injured players [Chan Ho-man and Leung Chi-wing] during the match. That's how desperate we were. We didn't have enough fresh substitutes. We showed endurance right until the end, which is pleasing.

'Our new Brazilian striker [Jonathan Moeller] played all right. I am very satisfied with our performance overall. It's just that we couldn't win the penalty shoot-out in the end,' said Koo.

Kitchee defeated Lanwa with goals from Keith Gumbs (penalty) and Kwok Yue-hung. Kitchee were reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute when midfielder Tam Siu-wai was sent off. Lanwa finished the match with nine men after Li Chong and You Long were both dismissed in the 82nd and 90th minutes respectively.