Valley hammered by league leaders Kitchee

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 March, 2007, 12:00am

Defending champions Happy Valley suffered their biggest defeat of the season, going down 5-0 to leaders Kitchee in the Coolpoint Ventilation First Division League at Mong Kok Stadium yesterday

Striker Julius Akosha picked up a hat-trick with goals in the 40th, 49th and 88th minutes after Keith Gumbs and new signing Anderson Da Silva hit the target in the 17th and 37th.

In the other match of yesterday's double-header, Rangers cruised to a 3-1 victory over Football Club after netting three times in the first half through Godfred Karikari (third and 41st) and Wong Chin-hung (23rd). Jaimes McKee scored a consolation goal for Club on the hour.

Despite fielding a number of reserve players in the starting line-up, Valley coach Lo Kai-wah was disappointed with the defeat.

'Our defence played poorly as the players were just too slow,' said Lo. 'This is not the first time we have committed such mistakes against Kitchee. The same thing happened in our first meeting when they beat us 3-0. The players must improve, or it will happen again.'

Kitchee team boss Ken Ng Kin said: 'We are now five points ahead of second-placed South China. With only five matches left, we stand a good chance of winning the league title as our remaining matches are much easier than theirs.'

Hong Kong international Gerard Ambassa Guy was rested ahead of a busy week in which Valley have their AFC Cup opening group match against New Radiant of the Maldives on Tuesday followed by Saturday's League Cup semi-final against Sun Hei.

Poon Man-tik came on after the break when they were already three goals down. Midfield powerhouse Vandre Monteiro remained on the bench throughout, nursing some light injuries, while captain Lee Wai-man was serving his one-game ban.