Cup win boosts South China's morale

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am

South China grabbed their first silverware of the season with a 2-1 victory over sister club TSW Pegasus in the League Cup final at Yuen Long Stadium yesterday.

The trophy is a timely boost as the Caroliners face a series of challenges in the domestic league and the regional AFC Cup.

'We had a crisis of confidence after losing the Senior Shield final [Citizen beat South China 4-2 on penalties] and the victory today will help us overcome that,' team convenor Steven Lo Kit-sing said.

'The League Cup may not be important silverware compared with other trophies, but the victory comes at the right time.

'It can also lift the team as we prepare for the run-in to the league climax and the AFC Cup, the two most important things on our agenda.'

South China face Kitchee in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday - a potential league championship decider - before they resume their AFC group fixtures.

'The Kitchee game will probably decide the league champions, who will then have the opportunity to play in the English Premier League Asia Trophy this summer and the 2012 AFC Cup. 'We cannot afford to lose [to Kitchee],' Lo said. 'Today's victory will give us the confidence we need ahead of that crucial game.'

Two goals in the first half through Nicky Butt and Wellingsson de Souza settled matters in front of a 3,600-strong crowd, although Chan Ming-kong pulled one back for Pegasus in the later stages.

Giovane da Silva and second-half substitute Kwok Kin-pong both missed chances in the second half to extend South China's lead.

'There is still room for improvement as we failed to score more when we were in total command,' Lo said. 'Once Pegasus scored a late goal, we became a bit shaky in defence, something that should not happen.'