Big two in League Cup showdown

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 March, 2007, 12:00am

The Hong Kong First Division's top two sides clash today when South China take on Kitchee in the second match of a League Cup semi-final double-header.

Kitchee enjoy a two-point lead at the top of standings but that will count for nothing when the two sides take to the Hong Kong Stadium pitch this afternoon.

This is the acid test for South China's big investment, which saw the club commit HK$10 million to signing new players in the pre-season in a bid to return to their glory days. A win for the Caroliners today would see them reach their second domestic final of the campaign. They captured the Senior Shield title in January with a 2-1 victory over Xiangxue Sun Hei. With both sides having five matches to play and just the two points between them, today's match could also give the winners a psychological edge in the race for the First Division title.

'A victory will definitely boost our confidence when we meet them again in the league,' said South China team manager Li Yun-wah. They clash again in the league next month. South China prevailed 2-0 when the two met in the first round of the league.

Kitchee boss Ken Ng Kin said they would start as underdogs because key players Tam Siu-wai and Wilfed Bamnjo would not be available due to injuries, while new recruit, Brazilian midfielder Anderson da Silva, is ineligible.

In the first of today's semi-finals, Sun Hei meet Happy Valley, both sides fresh from successful midweek outings in the AFC Cup.