Chan seals interport success

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 January, 2007, 12:00am

A late goal from Chan Siu-ki helped Hong Kong reclaim the interport title after stunning Guangdong 4-2 in the return leg yesterday.

Guangdong took the first leg 1-0 at home last week, but Hong Kong forced the match into extra time after scoring 3-2 in 90 minutes at Hong Kong Stadium to make it 3-3 on aggregate.

Chan then sealed the victory when he scored his second goal of the match from 18 yards in the 108th minute after intercepting a weak back pass.

'I have won the interport for Hong Kong once before but the feeling this time is different,' said Chan, who was playing in his fourth interport tournament.

'I feel extremely happy this time, not because I scored the winning goal, but because we won the title with a very young side.

'It proves there is a future for Hong Kong football. If you work hard, you get the results,' the man-of-the-match added.

With the approach of the 2008 Beijing Olympic qualifiers, which kick off next month with home and away matches against Bangladesh, Hong Kong fielded an under-23 squad as part of their preparation.

'The whole team battled hard for this victory and although we were two goals down at one stage, we never gave up and our effort finally paid off,' Chan said.

A delighted Hong Kong coach Lai Sun-cheung added: 'It is definitely a good result for the youngsters before we kick off our Olympic campaign next month.'

The visitors, represented by the Guangzhou municipal team, got off to a perfect start when Li Zhihai headed home a Lu Lin free kick in the 14th minute for a two-goal aggregate cushion.

But a penalty converted by Shen Kwok-keung in 24th minute sparked Hong Kong's hopes and five minutes later Chan scored his first goal when he forced the ball into the net off the feet of Guangdong keeper Zhang Yuntao.

Li Zhixing equalised for the visitors with another powerful header in the 36th minute.

Hong Kong regained the lead shortly before the end of the first period when Feng Junyan scored an own goal.