Happy Valley let golden chance for first win slip

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 October, 2007, 12:00am

Happy Valley let their first victory of this league campaign slip away when they were held 3-3 by Kitchee in their Coolpoint Ventilation First Division match at Mong Kok Stadium yesterday.

Traditionally one of the leading teams in the competition, and with a budget of HK$8 million, disappointing Valley have yet to record a victory after three matches. But playing in front of a 2,218-strong crowd in the second game of yesterday's double-header, they came close to ending that wait when second-half substitute Vandre Monteiro put them 3-2 up with only five minutes remaining.

However, a lapse of concentration in defence cost them dearly as Kitchee defender Milija Zizic headed home the equaliser in stoppage time after a goal-mouth scramble.

'The result was too harsh on us,' Valley team manager Chan Hing-ping said. 'Although we did improve from our previous matches, we did not get the result we wanted.'

Hong Kong international Chan Siu-ki gave Kitchee a dream start when he rounded the goalkeeper to score into an empty goal in the 11th minute. Tomy Giacomeli found the equaliser for Valley with a header in the 18th minute and teammate Diego Mendonca's effort in the 43rd minute put them into the lead.

Against the run of play, Kitchee's second-half substitute Cheng Lai-hin headed home the equaliser with his first touch of the ball in the 72nd minute. Then came the drama of the two late goals.

In the earlier match, Convoy Sun Hei moved to the top of the table when they defeated Citizen 3-2.

Citizen finished the afternoon with only nine players on the field after Ma Ka-kei was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the 68th minute and striker Wang Xuanhong followed in the 82nd.

All five goals came before the first sending-off of an incident-packed match that saw the referee dish out an amazing 14 yellow cards as well as the two reds.